Thursday, December 26, 2013

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Everything Thunder


black death’s wing’s overhead.
Everything’s eaten by hunger, unsated,
so why does a light shine ahead?

By day, a mysterious wood, near the town,
breathes out cherry, a cherry perfume.
By night, on July’s sky, deep, and transparent,
new constellations are thrown.

 And something miraculous will come
close to the darkness and ruin,
something no-one, no-one, has known,
though we’ve longed for it since we were children.


There will be thunder then. Remember me.
Say ‘ She asked for storms.’ The entire
world will turn the colour of crimson stone,
and your heart, as then, will turn to fire.

That day, in Moscow, a true prophecy,
when for the last time I say goodbye,
soaring to the heavens that I longed to see,
leaving my shadow here in the sky.

By:  Anna Akhmatova
Copied and pasted by:  Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Acquainted with the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain--and back in rain
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have look down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

By:  Robert Frost
Copied and loved by:  Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Would Like ... yet again

Though I've posted this poem before in this blog, I never get tired of reading it ... over and over again.  It is the one poem that I wish I could have written because it lives in my heart.  But Yevgeniy Yevtushenko wrote it first and it is far better than anything I could ever hope to write.  But it lives in me so that's something.  Again here it is in his own translation.

 I would like
            to be born
                      in every country,
have a passport
               for them all
to throw
        all foreign offices
                           into panic,
be every fish
             in every ocean
and every dog
             in the streets of the world.
I don’t want to bow down
                        before any idols
or play at being
                a Russian Orthodox church hippie,
but I would like to plunge
                          deep into Lake Baikal
and surface snorting
                              why not in the Mississippi?
In my damned beloved universe
                             I would like
to be a lonely weed,
                    but not a delicate Narcissus
kissing his own mug
                   in the mirror.
I would like to be
                  any of God’s creatures
right down to the last mangy hyena--
but never a tyrant
                  or even the cat of a tyrant.
I would like to be
                  reincarnated as a man
                                       in any image:
a victim of prison tortures,
a homeless child in the slums of Hong Kong,
a living skeleton in Bangladesh,
a holy beggar in Tibet,
a black in Cape Town,
but never
         in the image of Rambo.
The only people whom I hate
                           are the hypocrites--
pickled hyenas
              in heavy syrup.
I would like to lie
                   under the knives of all the surgeons in the world,
be hunchbacked, blind,
                      suffer all kinds of diseases,
                                                   wounds and scars,
be a victim of war,
                   or a sweeper of cigarette butts,
just so a filthy microbe of superiority
                                       doesn’t creep inside.
I would not like to be in the elite,
nor, of course,
               in the cowardly herd,
nor be a guard dog of that herd,
nor a shepherd,
               sheltered by that herd.
And I would like happiness,
                           but not at the expense of the unhappy,
and I would like freedom,
                         but not at the expense of the unfree.
I would like to love
                    all the women in the world,
and I would like to be a woman, too--
                                     just once...
Men have been diminished
                        by Mother Nature.
Why couldn’t we give motherhood
                               to men?
If an innocent child
                           below his heart,
man would probably
                  not be so cruel.
I would like to be man’s daily bread--
    a cup of rice
                 for a Vietnamese woman in mourning,
cheap wine
          in a Neapolitan workers’ trattoria,
or a tiny tube of cheese
                        in orbit round the moon.
Let them eat me,
                let them drink me,
only let my death
                 be of some use.
I would like to belong to all times,
                                    shock all history so much
that it would be amazed
                       what a smart aleck I was.
I would like to bring Nefertiti
                               to Pushkin in a troika.
I would like to increase
                        the space of a moment
                                             a hundredfold,
so that in the same moment
                          I could drink vodka with fishermen in Siberia
and sit together with Homer,
                                              and Tolstoy,
drinking anything,
                  except, of course,
--dance to the tom-toms in the Congo,
--strike at Renault,
--chase a ball with Brazilian boys
                                  at Copacabana Beach.
I would like to know every language,
                                like the secret waters under the earth,
and do all kinds of work at once.
                                 I would make sure
that one Yevtushenko was merely a poet,
                                 the second--an underground fighter
I couldn’t say where
                    for security reasons,
the third--a student at Berkeley,
                                 the fourth--a jolly Georgian drinker,
and the fifth--
               maybe a teacher of Eskimo children in Alaska,
the sixth--
       a young president,
                    somewhere, say, modestly speaking, in Sierra Leone,
the seventh--
             would still be shaking a rattle in his stroller,
and the tenth...
                the hundredth...
                                the millionth...
For me it’s not enough to be myself,
                                    let me be everyone!
Every creature
              usually has a double,
but God was stingy
                  with the carbon paper,
and in his Paradise Publishing Corporation
                                          made a unique copy of me.
But I shall muddle up
                     all God’s cards--
                                      I shall confound God!
I shall be in a thousand copies to the end of my days,
so that the earth buzzes with me,
                                 and computers go berserk
in the world census of me.
I would like to fight on all your barricades,
dying each night
                like an exhausted moon,
and resurrecting each morning
                             like a newborn sun,
with an immortal soft spot--fontanel--
                                      on my head.
And when I die,
               a smart-aleck Siberian Francois Villon,
do not lay me in the earth
                          of France
                                   or Italy,
but in our Russian, Siberian earth,
                                   on a still-green hill,
where I first felt
                  that I was


Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bridges of Dreams

And will this also pass?
Perhaps, but know what will stay?
What we decide to take
from gifts given to us.

We lived each own the way,
We move in different pace.
And nothing could be read
before we linked in space.

Some could speculate:
It all belongs to the sky,
But how to comprehend
and answer question, Why?

And will this also pass?
Perhaps, you know life is long,
But why this even struck us?
The question comes along.
By Gulnara Karimova

I can see you standing in the woods by moonlight. The warm glow of a small campfire suffuses your face, gilding your gentle smile and sparkling in your eyes. The clean scent of your hair fills my nostrils as I nuzzle your neck and wrap my arms around your waist. There I look up and see the moonlight transform your hair into a silver aureole as our bodies move in an ancient rhythm. The rustle of leaves is lost in the roar of the wind through the treetops above us.

Where are our dreams?
What are they?
Oh, and if dreams are slipping away in dreams?
What are finding themselves having to star?
The sun rises, and the shadow fades away.
the light is on the way, smoothly hides dreams ...
And once again everything touches the soul,
live your dreams and will fly up to dream ...
By Gulnara Karimova

I can see you on the deck of a ship passing mine. Our eyes lock, we reach out as if to bridge the gap with our arms. Sadly we wave good bye. My heart aches as your ship drifts off into the dusk. Just as you fade away you smile at me. I can see the wistful sadness clearly on your lips, as if I have seen it many times before. Why does that image spring so readily to mind? Am I doomed to live among the things that can never be?

Came Up With ... a dream wrapped ...
Believe ... a sigh.
I don't know how long is this twinkle ... one more ...
By Gulnara Karimova

I sit by a pond and gaze across the water at reflections of memories of things that never were. I hear echoes of footsteps along a path not taken, and wonder where I might have gone. I dream of you appearing in the dark and walking into my arms. I remember … and I dream that it would never end.

We are one, eternity was ...
in broad parts scattered and thee revealed ...
By Gulnara Karimova

Sometime back I read that the composite color of the universe is – beige or tan. The scientific explanation is that over the past 10 billion years the universe is becoming redder as red stars have become more prevalent—an understandable observation since red stars are older than blue stars.

To me, a beige universe somehow explains many things… Avatar, Dances with Wolves, The Last Samurai, The Blue Man Group for President 2016… an inchoate desire to return to a more bluish universe

Fairies beckon the Moon,
Eternal for ever in heaven.
will life be replaced again and again,
But the Earth will rule love ...
By Gulnara Karimova

Rise above me like a majestic bird.
Spread your golden wings and fly,
soaring high into the mist.
Abandon yourself
 and all that has become you.

Take me with you
to that place most perfect.
That place between this life and the next
where for one single instant
knowing love is the only option.
by G. Gregory

by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name
      Бездомные с ноутбуком, это мое имя

Blue Moon Rose

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Rains Wash Silence

“When the sky is breathing tears… rain will wash away all silence…”  Gulnara Karimova

The sounds of the raindrops, yes they wash away the silence of the earth, because each contains  a little story from heaven.   I wonder if raindrops have names?  Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, etc.  And what stories would they tell of the faces on which they have dropped and the hearts that they have cleaned, and the tears they have mixed with.

I was washed away once by a river which took me to a distant shore. 

“Where am I?” I asked.  But there was no one there to answer me. 

“My name is Glen Salo.” 

[NOTE:  I had always searched for an English-version of my name Gonzalo; there isn’t one. Sometimes I used “John” when I didn’t care if the person remembered my name or not—and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time trying to get the person to say my name correctly.   One day I was in my office and I received a telephone call from a salesman who was trying to sell some product.  I normally hang up quickly, but the salesman talked well and got me interested.  I told him to fax me his brochure.  He asked me for my name and I told him “Gonzalo.”  He didn’t ask for the spelling as people usually do.   A few minutes later, I received a fax addressed to “Glen Salo.”  While I didn’t buy the product, I did love the name… So  “Gonzalo” became  “Glen” for casual acquaintances and for my blog] Anyway…

The river did not answer me; its cataracts roared and foamed. I wondered why the river did not say, “You are here and my name is _____.”  Deep calls to deep amid the roaring waters.  They are speaking in foam and in their splashing on the rocks. I try to answer them but my breath is shallow and I cannot make myself heard.

I strain to see more distant shores… they call me in a language unknown; yet I hear their call.  I wonder if the Sirens called Ulysses in this way.  But he covered his ears with wax and could not hear them in any case.  I did not cover my ears with wax, yet I only heard the rushing waters… perhaps I did not speak their language.

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."   Carl Jung

I tried to sing with the water but my song was lost in the river. No, I am not a boatman; more of a falcon than a salmon. I fly in the sky and soar in open spaces, upward ever upward into the blue of space…
I wonder if the fishes in the river sing?  Would the sing  “The song of the Salmons” as they swim upstream. Who knows… Perhaps Neptune if he existed… Perhaps the fishes would sing a song…  a simple song of freedom…

In his Seventh Letter, Plato complains of the weakness of language—the inability to properly describe the four things necessary to know a thing (first, name; second, the definition; third the image; fourth, the knowledge and as fifth the thing itself which is known and truly exists).  These four necessities attempt to show what a thing is like, not less than what each thing is.  I do not think that people are so complicated.  The true person always reveals themselves.  You cannot hide who or what you are. 

I climbed to the top of a mountain and yelled out loud, “I am calling you.”  The echo of my voice gave me double reassurance…It may be that I needed double reassurance of what I wanted to say. The heart sometimes needs a voice and someone to hear it. It takes courage to say what you mean even if only an echo. 

After  rains comes renewed life.

I visited the Redwood Forest in Northern California, with truly majestic trees.  But what really got my attention was something I noticed on huge Redwood tree had been cut down.  I usually don’t take many pictures because I’m not very good at it but I like this one.

The picture of the redwood bud is life renewed and more.  Vladimir Navokov, who in discussing Chekhov, observed that Chekhov in his characters shows that “The greatest of the great laws of nature is not the survival of the strongest but the survival of the weakest.”  So it is…

The rains ultimately lift our burden captured in Goethe’s apothegm:  “Was uns alle badigt—das Gemeine.’”  (That which hampers us all—the commonplace.)  

We are now ready for another day… and more songs of rain.  Nice.

By:   Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name
Бездомные с ноутбуком, это мое имя

Saturday, September 14, 2013

To a Spherical Life...

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I set aside childish ways.”  1 Corinthians 13:11

“We are tied, all our days and for the greater part of our days, to the commonplace.  That is where contact with great thinkers, great literature helps.  In their company we are still in the ordinary world, but it is the ordinary world transfigured and seen through the eyes of wisdom and genius.  And some of their vision becomes our own.”  Robert Maynard Hutchins

One of my favorite books is ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens.  I admit that when I first started to read it, I almost put it down because it seemed a bit childish… yet the language and the spirit of the book appealed to me.  I love the book now because out of the seeming commonplace, the world is transformed … and I become a part of it.

Sunrays light up greeny tops of the alley
Vigorous puffs blow all over your face
The soul of yours makes a shot through the air
Cherishing out all sounds and smells

Floating over mysterious clouds
Trying to touch some unreachable heights
Breathing it over amazed and astounded
Leaving all daily requirements behind

Getting your mind and your body united
Grasping upon something really immense
Taking a gulp of enchanting and boundless
Listening in to inexplicable bells.
By:  Gulnara Karimova

I’m fascinated by the stars; I love to walk on a dark night and look at the stars.  My favorite constellation is the Big Dipper... seven stars equal the seven letters of each on my names: I was born on 21 May... I straddle Taurus and Gemini but I’m a Gemini in most charts … I sit on my magic carpet and fly away into the dark of space, towards any galaxy or star that I wish.  The laws of physics do not chain me… take that Einstein.  In my magic carpet, there are no bounds.  The music undulates as the carpet flies into the stars and I sit in wonderment and joy… No limits…  No limits… The road leads on forever…

A dreamy silence told me
That we bypassed the sun
And understood the heaven…
Alas, it is undone
By:  Gulnara Karimova

How many times have you travelled the same road home? Work? Life?  Think of it.  Everyday on the same road.  Yet today when I travelled on a different road, a truck overturned in the middle of it.  Traffic was at a standstill.  Perhaps repetition has a quality and a reason of its own. 

When desiring spring oftentimes
Skies meet autumn without any reason
It's so hard to conceive space of love
And to measure forlorness of seasons
Every day is a step in your life
Every blink is eternal in value
And your soul should truly apply
All your feelings to pass through the valley
It's the valley of promising drives
It's the valley of endless surprises
It's the valley of terminal love
It's the valley of our blunders.
By:  Gulnara Karimova

They say time cannot be bought. But I say time does not matter if it ever did. I agree with Vincent Van Gogh’s observation:

“At one time the earth was supposed to be flat.  Well, so it is, even today from Paris to Asnières.  But that fact doesn’t prevent science from proving that the earth as a whole is spherical.  No one nowadays denies it.  Well… we are still at the state of believing that life itself it flat, the distance from birth to death.  Yet the probability is that life, too, is spherical and much more extensive and capacious than the hemisphere that we know.”

I feel the call in my heart… my soul... I feel the wind on my face… I am no longer chained to a rock like Prometheus… No, I feel like Prometheus unchained!  The rebirth of life is seen in the bud of a redwood tree: young, small, tender; a sapling which will grow into a majestic redwood tree.  That is among the greatest laws of nature, the survival of the weakest. 

A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn't play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.  Pablo Neruda

Here’s to the spherical life… 

By:      Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name
Бездомные с ноутбуком, это мое имя

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Impossible Wishes and Green Magic

Drop after drop fall down to the glass
And fill it to the brim with sadness
Your potion can't be only sweet, it's also bitter
But who will do confess in it
Will smile hide the taste…

By:  Gulnara Karimova

As I walked by numerous stalls in one of the Saturday-morning flea markets which are prevalent all over northern California, just browsing the same things over, I unexpectedly came upon a very different stall.  This one had many charms and other amulets to welcome love and fortune, and ward off evil spirits … and perhaps real sweetness to the cup.

As the bookish sort of person, I became interested in a collection of many small books in Spanish; particularly one which was titled ‘La Magia Verde’ (Green Magic).  I don’t know what attracted me to this book in particular other than my attraction to green colored things in general; likely stemming from childhood stories in which green is the color of forests, hence mystery.  My mother used to tell us kids children stories on Sunday afternoons by the chimney with a roaring fire.  There, drinking Orange Crush or Fanta, magic woods and enchanted forests would come to life through my mother’s voice in the fires of the chimney.

Green magic – Mix the wing of bats and the mushrooms picked from a cemetery; good luck will follow you. 

I haggled for the book; I wanted it for $3.00.  The man and the woman wanted $5.00.  Another customer said that green magic is not true or doesn’t work.  I told him that it all depends on what you believe.  For it seems to me that sometimes we want to control our lives immediately and while we may not truly know what is good for us, we want the control anyway.  I’m exasperated by waiting for tomorrow; I want Green Magic to help me today.    The Lady in Green who lives in the tree beckons me.  Inside her tree lies a wonderful world, of childish innocence and natural harmony.  I want to go back inside it.  On that particular day, however, I only had $3.00 left.

Alas… Thus I lost the book on La Magia Verde. However, I feel now that I need it even more today, if nothing else to remind me of the wonder that was once my childhood.  Yet in fact, Green Magic is within us for it is nothing more than manipulating forces that are around us but whose influence we don’t perceive.  The important thing though is that they’re there.

Two bullfrog skins mixed with the blood of a young lizard will yield a potion of power over another person.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
By:  Maya Angelou

Powders exist to lure a desired love or to ward off evil spirits; lotions and elixirs to make oneself irresistible to another person.  That’s how to affect the environment rather than waiting for heavenly intervention or fate to step in; though it’s well worth remembering that one often meets one’s fate by attempting to avert it [Oedipus Rex].   So if this is true, we are not averting our own end but perhaps only the means. 

I will show you the way to the star
And will make you the luckiest person
And your dream will come true from afar
And your fate will be happily nursed

And the ocean of reticent skies
Will upturn faraway distant reaches
And the bottom untouched by our kind
Will be lit with impossible wishes.

By:  Gulnara Karimova

The lesson here is that for Green Magic to be truly effective, you must know what it is that you seek.  Or is this unnecessary?  For Green Magic may also protect you from unwanted interference rather than merely changing your fate.  There’s a definite advantage in this, because you are warding off evil influences.  Who needs evil influences in their life?  Thus Green Magic can greatly help you to command the forces around you and achieve a feng-shui like arrangement with all the forces that surround you—of love, life and fortune. For impossible wishes to be possible and for smiles to be smiles. Nice.

By:      Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name
           Бездомных с ноутбуком, что мое имя