As often happens, our words don't do justice to what our artists have created. Please access what we, in our humble opinion, feel are some of the finest examples of creative expression being published today.
Canadian poet and visual artist Aurora Antonovic has been published around the world. Her exquisite creations have appeared in print hundreds of times. You would be well advised to skip my words and go directly to hers. In Midnight Flower we find skillfully crafted rhyme and thoughtful metrical aspects that lead us through an explosive passion. Beware if you (like me) are not addicted to the discipline of rhyme and metre. You risk conversion. She quickly switches styles but not the depth of excitement. New York Cocktail Party is pure passion in print. Pressed Over is tender love...the pleasure of propinquity, of closeness...of two people completing the other's soul. Amends is pure comedic genius. This work of art begs to be performed. There is nothing out there to compare with this polished gem. In On The Beach we see the vulnerability felt when one exposes the heart to another. These are true masterpieces...timeless paintings of the heart in motion. Welcome to the genius of Aurora Antonovic.PETRER CHATTO
Petrer Chatto writes with compassion. He writes about deep wounds. In his world it is not enough to have the gift of feeling. There is an existential errand being carried out here. One must put the feelings somewhere...one must use them or they mean nothing. Missing My Friend is as painful as the imagery is effective. We hope to see more of his work in the future. We proudly present Missing My Friend.
W. JUDE AHER
Jude Aher has graced our pages before. He is an accomplished playwright and poet. It is no secret we are fans of his work. In this volume he presents a powerful poem entitled so lost. It is painfully and topically poignant.
Neil Reid is from San Jose, Ca. He has honored us with three selections. Crayons out of the box is written by a man confidant enough to color outside the lines. His is an an intriguing style that reminds you of something Beat (sort of) and also a nostalgic longing for places you've been and possibly places you haven't. Lines like "Never could much remember street names but place I know by heart" roll smoothly from his pen and into our psyche. Uvas canyon fire and I love that you listen me complete a three poem presentation that left us excited and wishing to see more from this talented poet.
BRUCE H. REEVE
Bruce H. Reeve is a Canadian photographer who is world class in his craft. We're publishing a cross section of his work and hope this won't be our last encounter with his compositions. We're confidant you'll agree with us that he doesn't just capture the beauty of nature (he does) but he interprets it through his lens in a most exciting way. While his career is not limited to nature and country scenes, we chose these themes to introduce this skilled artist to our readers. Bruce Reeve weaves his magic from Windsor, Ontario.
Derrick Hines can write with skill and imagination! We became fans the instant we first read his poem Crush. He's not afraid to take chances. Powdery Fluff and This are two other poems that add a painful enlightenment to the mix. They are both a look at nature through despair and despair through nature. Be warned. Don't allow the word fluff to fool you. There is nothing light here. It's a stunning use of the language to set us up for a taste of reality. Fleeting thoughts and emotions of a lifetime are caught in these three selections from Derrick Hines..
Editors would do well to remember the oft repeated admonition to athletes and performers to finish strong. Taking that advice, we conclude Volume Seven by presenting a selection of photo art from Joy Middlestead. Joy is well known for her compelling poetry and excellent web presence. Photo art is a rapidly emerging art form and this artist from Alberta, Canada is helping lead the way. We're not surprised. Her poetry captivated us from the first line we read. It is fitting that we bring this volume to a close with another side of the incredible talent of Joy Middlestead.
This issue is respectfully and lovingly dedicated to the memory of Pritchard Farley Collins. Farley founded and edited Statement Magazine and Brier Scratches Newspaper. He was an editor of the Fayette Tribune and a teacher at the Baltimore Free University and Crichton Elementary School. He was one of the inspirations for Banks Of The Little Miami. Mostly though, he was a voice for reason and compassion. He spoke, and acted, for the benefit of the defenseless. He was his brother's keeper. He was my friend.
Point Pelee Winter Walk
© Copyright 2005 Bruce Reeve
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
THE STREAMS OF THE MOUNTAINS
PLEASE ME MORE THAN THE SEA
My Encounter With
PRITCHARD FARLEY COLLINS
Pritchard Farley Collins 1944-2005
"And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13)
Farley Collins was a searcher. A brilliant mind, he was unafraid of intellectual debate or exploration. I fondly remember long discussions about Nietzsche, Kierkegaard and Sartre...and so much more. Farley was a man of faith but he was also a man of reason and questioning. His was not a hollow faith anymore than his inquiring spirit was anyway shallow. He didn't take himself seriously but he took his journey and search most seriously. His laughter came easily and he could reward you with his humor in the midst of even serious discussion. It is a rare man who leaves the world a better place than he found it. Farley was such a man.
The Old Library On The Campus Of Morehead State University...MSU is rated one of the best Southern universities today.
When Farley and I attended it was in a growth spurt as it transitioned from a college in the mountains to a large university. It was the 60's and those, like Farley, who were serious about finding truth and meaning spent a lot of time reading and questioning. Farley and I would sometimes "cut" our scheduled classes to research in the library or drop into classes we found more relevant but were not registered to attend. It may not have been economically prudent but there were more pressing things on our minds. There was a controversial and disastrous war going on. The Civil Rights Movement contended for a nation's conscience and we were right in the middle of Appalachia with all of its needs and problems.
We majored in history. We studied about New Deals and Fair Deals. We debated the purpose and position of America from Pre Colombian times to the present and future. We looked at the past hoping to discern the future or at least come to grips with the present. For some, college was a kind of trade school that bought you entry into some part of the capitalist plan. For Farley it was a place to examine the weightier matters of life. It was a place to find out what you should believe and why you must believe it. It was a place to question...it was rehearsal for life. There was really only one course of study. It could be summed up in such things as man's search for meaning. Victor Frankl wrote a book by that title and created a whole new approach to psychological counseling called Logotherapy. Jean Paul Sartre forever warned us of the importance of living in good faith. We discussed these things and we took them to heart. No, college was not a trade school. No course was an isolated exercise. When viewed as Farley viewed it, college was about learning and all learning and thought were spiritual...and life long duties.
The Old Auditorium At MSU
Farley (along with Ron Thomas) was one of the editors and driving forces behind Statement Magazine. It was a time and emotion consuming endeavor but it was truly an intellectual journal of the highest quality. Farley was not afraid of free speech and supported his writers and contributors even in the face of controversy. Statement Magazine has since been used as the title of the University's promotional magazine. In the 60's it was the center of intellectual expression on campus and in the region. Farley Collins was an intellectual force on campus. The quotation from
Ecclesiastes is a passage we once discussed for its existential examination of life.
"To everything, turn, turn, turn
There is a season, turn, turn, turn
And a time for every purpose under heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones
A time to gather stones together
A time of war, a time of peace
A time of love, a time of hate
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time of peace, I swear it's not too late"
(Ecclesiates as interpreted by Pete Seeger)
Farley Collins From The MSU Yearbook '66.
I knew Farley Collins in the 60's but we lost contact over the years as busy lives pulled us in different directions. He was a good man. Nations and worlds are built and sustained by people who rarely make it into the history books. When word reached me of his passing I realized that the world had lost a special person. I regret not having stayed in closer contact but our friendship rests now in pleasant memories.
"I am a truthful man
From the land of the palm trees
And before dying,
I want to share the poems of my soul
My poems are soft green,
My poems are also flaming crimson
My poems are like a wounded fawn
Seeking refuge in the forest
With the poor people of this earth
I want to share my fate
The streams of the mountains
Please me more than the sea"
(From Guantanamera By Pete Seeger)
"Oh if a man tried
To take his time on earth
And prove before he died
What one man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen to this world?"
THANK YOU MY FRIEND...MAY YOU REST IN THE PEACE
YOU SOUGHT AND THE GLORY YOU ALWAYS DESERVED.
The Streams Of The Mountains Please Me More Than the Sea
My Encounter With Pritchard Farley Collins
© Copyright 2005 Bill Stockland
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Except As Noted
Spring has arrived in North America and with it Volume Seven of Banks Of The Little Miami has been born. The wheel is turning and each of us is trying to get better. If we get better the world gets better. Time and time again we see proof that poems, plays, photos and other works of art are the only ways to adequately express emotion. The greatest of what we have is transmitted best by the artist. From the earliest scriptures to the latest creation you are crafting, works of art guide, inspire and yes, even sanctify our existence. Maybe everything we see and imagine is not beauty...after all, so much of beauty is in the subjective eye of the beholder but everything we see and imagine is of interest and importance. We are here to publish what you feel is interesting, beautiful or otherwise spiritually important. Yes my friends, the wheel is turning...
I wish you love and peace,
VOLUME ONE AUTUMN 2003
VOLUME TWO LATE AUTUMN 2003
VOLUME THREE WINTER 2003-2004
VOLUME FOUR SPRING 2004
VOLUME FIVE SUMMER 2005
VOLUME SIX LATE AUTUMN 2004
VOLUME SEVEN 2005
VOLUME EIGHT JUNE 2005
VOLUME NINE AUTUMN 2005
VOLUME TEN WINTER 2005
VOLUME ELEVEN SPRING 2006
VOLUME TWELVE AUTUMN 2006