Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Textured Tuesday: Winter Stems

In summer, we enjoy the color and aroma of flowers, 
then mourn their passing with the fall.
But winter gives us a different aspect of their beauty,
the stems and base that support their petals, leaves and seeds,
have a beauty all their own, one that is only revealed
when the leaves and petals have fallen away.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Along the Gray Divide

As the sun rose over Indy on Saturday, I walked in the shadow 
of the Herron School of Art, where the rift in the sidewalk reminded me 
of a map of the Mississippi River. Or maybe, looked at horizontally, 
it could have been the remains of ocean waves, 
breaking onto the sandy beach. Or not.

Maybe one side was just shiny, while the other was not.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blue Curve/Yellow Wedge ... and One Hell of a Dancing Horse

After swimming at the Natatorium early Saturday morning, 
I walked along the Canal to return to the downtown 
area where I went for breakfast.
The morning was bright and beautiful, offering the best
of winter colors in the form of crisply hued blue sky,
caught between the dark blue curve of the Marriott hotel and 
the sunlit wedge of the Indiana State Museum atrium.

And just because I really enjoy it, here's a freestyle 
dressage performance from a few years ago 
at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Germany.

It must have been an encore of sorts. Here's
the same pair doing a longer freestyle routine 
for scores. The mare could bust some moves!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Cachophony

On Christmas morning, my brother Doug, his wife Fran, 
and I trekked up to Noblesville to enjoy Christmas with Fran's nephew.
Once my nephews arrived with their families the place was full of chatter 
and laughter of children, all age six years and under.
In the top photo, grandnephew Knox plays with one of his cousin Luke's
many toy cars, while behind him the ever-growing stack of gifts
awaits distribution after dinner.

Here, Nicholas, my sister-in-law's nephew, plays 
with his son Luke, who loves his toy cars -- all of them,
while Fran helps her granddaughter Kinley put paint 
on her hand to create a Christmas decoration.
The result was a silver Christmas tree ball with
a child's hand print resembling a snowflake.
  As a token of a child's growth, it was actually 
kind of pretty and sweet, 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Indy Workday, 7:45 a.m.

Earlier this week, the nascent workday took shape 
as people began to show up for their jobs. A wedge of purple-y blue 
brought the daylight, with the contrast emphasized by the glare 
of yellow streetlamps, staring incessantly on the traffic below.
As the traffic approached, one couple walked to their offices, 
and the fluorescent lighting began their own twinkle 
of sorts in the office windows above.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dots and Glitter

I am just in from spending Christmas day with my family.
There were about twenty of us, with eight of the contingent
made up of children age six years and younger.
And one large, happy dog name of Jackson, who followed
the children around during their processions and chase scenes,
or who appeared, sitting politely in front of the adult humans,
when he thought he might like a bit of summer sausage
or turkey to find its way to his mouth.

After a year of watching what I put in my mouth, 
I feel as though I ate more today than I've eaten since Christmas;
I am uncomfortable, bloated and not at all satisfied.
Never again.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wintery Shades of Gray

It has rained for about two-and-a-half days straight.
 I love the humidity with the mild air and would 
be happy if this would be our winter, but sadly,
temperatures that have been in the fifties are dropping -- 
Boo! back into the thirties. The ground is sodden
with large pools of standing water in 
the Coke Field and elsewhere. 
Nearby, the sidewalk was clotted with leaves
faded into suitably dire shades of gray.
I liked the way the leaves related to each other, creating
interesting patterns of negative and positive space,
and especially enjoyed the swirls and whorls
the rain water made as it flowed amid the leaves.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Beaded Gown

As I walked to the store Saturday morning, 
I caught sight of the crystalline raindrops 
decorating the tree in a neighbor's yard.
The tree did not appear bare so much 
as it seemed to be wearing 
a lacy gown encrusted with beads.
I thought maybe the trees on the block had 
a party during this Christmas season,
and this one had just gotten home.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Thoughts While Swimming Laps

The water flows around me as I swim,
The way your eyes followed 
the rise and curve of my breasts 
below the neckline of my dress.
I'm glad to have that one treat, 
that bit of warmth to give you,
Wishing your eyes had been your hands,
slipping gently over my body.
Like the water, as I swim, 
over and around,
My love for you rises in clouds of happy 
laughter to greet the stars.

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm supposed to be watching the clock,
keeping track of my time as I swim.
I get lost when I try to follow the clock  and the coach's 
instructions and always end up miscalculating 
the elapsed time. It takes me approximately twenty-two strokes 
to swim 25 meters in about twenty-five seconds, 
so I try go by that and am really disappointed 
when it takes longer. Inevitably, that is what happens
and I end up taking about twenty-five strokes. Damn. 

Being in the water is a sensual experience and,
having been away from the pool for nearly a week,
I was happy to be able to jump into a lane the other night
and feel the water flow around my body, and to
enjoy the physical effort of swimming ...
and to also enjoy those times when the water,
the lights, and the prismatic colors conspire to help me out 
by giving me an idea for a drawing, or whatever.
Now if they would only conspire to help me learn the clock.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Because I Can ...

...So I do, which means it's probably too easy and that I should look 
for more of a challenge, but I really enjoy the way 
the lights on the IPL Christmas tree are reflected by the cut 
and etched glass installation in their window.
I don't think I'll ever pass on an opportunity to find 
some new angle to look at the myriad lights on this display.
In and of itself, I don't find the art glass to be very interesting,
but sometimes the weather gives it a different look,
and it's obvious that the multi-colored lights take on another
aspect when viewed amid and through the cut glass.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Circle Lights

Between buses, I decided to wait for my ride home 
by walking around Monument Circle to see the lights.
It does not get old, nor does it disappoint.
There is something about the twinkling colors that adds
a happy edge to the winter evening, making the most
routine of tasks seem special.
The carriage horse have been dressed for the season,
with little felt headdresses or hats, their hooves
painted with gold glitter. Not only do the lights
on the carriages make them more visible to motorists,
but the horses seem to be pulling their
own light show.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Snowman's Schlong ...

... Was formed in the wheel well of a passing car, 
which then dropped it in the middle of the street, 
just beyond the snowman's reach.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Textured Tuesday: Subtle Gold

The colors of winter are subtle. 
What often appear to be flat grays 
are usually subtle turnings of gold, red, 
and purple, each leaning on the other 
to provide richness and depth
to an often bleak season. 
Here the remaining leaves on
a neighborhood tree stand poised 
against a backdrop
of greenish-yellow lichen.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Where the Ice Was ...

The daylight shone gold through the leaf on this bush, 
one that last week was covered in ice from melting snow and sleet. 
Since then, there's been another snowfall and the temperatures 
rose just enough to reduce the snow to gray slush.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snowy Suitor

The overnight snowfall brought a suitor to the Speedway soccer field.
Wearing flowers in its hair and carrying a bouquet,
the snowman greeted us with open arms.  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nuthin' to Do?

All over the downtown area, the footprints in the snow 
told the same story - anybody who says there's nothing to do 
in Indianapolis is out of their effin' mind.
Among the activities were an Indiana Pacers basketball
game, a Christmas choral concert at the Statehouse,
a holiday themed symphony concert, an arts market,
as well as a production of "A Christmas Carol"
by the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
I found congenial people wherever I happened
to be Friday night, enjoying the season and each other
in the glow of holiday lighting
in the gently falling snow.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


During a short walk I took Thanksgiving evening, 
I saw an old barn that was being dismantled.
The barn's colors and shape are beautiful and in the light 
of the setting sun, it seemed more alive and vital 
than many newer buildings around it.
Long fallen into disuse, it is sad to see the structure 
being dismantled, but good to know that its timbers and
siding are being passed on for use in other projects.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Morning @ 7

I am pissed. It's almost guaranteed that I will have a pissy attitude 
until late March; it's winter, my skin itches constantly, my eyes  stream 
water, and there seems to be the glare of ice everywhere, 
mocking me as it bounces back from the pavement surfaces 
wherever I walk. To avoid being cold, I got up an hour early 
to catch the first bus downtown, which means I'll have to wait
forty-five minutes for the connecting bus to work.
At least I got to see the Chase Tower lobby, lit up in the early hours 
as people began to trickle in to begin their work days.
I don't know why the lights have such a yellow cast to them,
but it contrasted nicely with the blue lights just outside.

The second image was taken while snuggled inside a corner
of the Tower at a coffee shop with a nice chai latte.
Even though it's about 7 AM, it's still dark outside,
with Christmas lights marking the Season as it progresses
towards the New Year, lighting the way to work for us all,
and making me happy that I am not standing alone 
in the cold at a bus stop, waiting for the bus to work.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Textured Tuesday: Icy Grass

The time spent outdoors on Monday, my eyes felt as though 
they'd retreated into their sockets. I walked quickly as I could through 
the cold air, darting from one warm spot to another.
My camera was in my pocket, and remained there because
my focus had turned inward, away from the cold,
to search for a spot out of the wind to wait for the bus,
a corner in the coffee shop where I could read in peace,
and remain warm. The best place I found Monday evening
was in the swimming pool, with a hot shower afterward.
I left my books in my bag during that time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

First Snow

While waiting for the bus this weekend at the Federal Court Building,
I happened to notice the bit of snowfall on the balustrade at the entrance. 
The ruffled bits at the top looked like the pinked edge on a pie.
The bases of the lights all have eagles at their bases,
of which the sunlit guy below was one.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Icy Leaf? Leafy Icicle? Whatever ...

I saw this bit of frozen light near the grocery 
where I'd gone to buy some milk and cat food.
The little display was near to the ground,
where the snow melt from the roof's eaves 
dripped onto the grasses and bushes below.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gray Is Bustin' Out All Over

Woo. Hoo. These photos are typical of how the city 
has looked this week, either gray and damp,
or gray and cold. Looking south from the corner
of Ohio and Capitol Streets, one can see the facade of
the Simon Properties corporate headquarters.
It looks like it has a giant tuning fork stuck on its front.
When it was being erected, one critic remarked that
the Simon family could have afforded the services of an
architect who would design a creative landmark,
instead giving us more of the same pre-fab concrete,
granite, and limestone facades that make up the
rest of the downtown offices.
Take a look towards the east, along Ohio Street,
and one can see the same ol'-sameol'
with little variation in color or width of stripes.
It must be one of the classes in basic architecture -
Stripes: Glass and Granite 101.

Friday, December 6, 2013

WTF? Muddy Prints

I was returning home from the store when I saw the prints, 
at first taking them to be those of a big dog. 
After second look, I was surprised and dismayed to see 
they were the prints of a small child,
one who had perhaps been pulling a wagon.
There were no accompanying prints, such
as an adult might make, so why was this child out alone,
in his stocking feet, on a damp and dreary morning? 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Red Dots

I love to see these berries each winter. 
Their bright orange-y red contrasted against 
the clear blue sky creates a visual dance 
for me as my gaze takes in the little orbs vibrating
in the breeze, foreground to back.
The winter birds love the berries, which provide
them with a source for food; as the winter progresses
they will gather in the trees, gorging on the tiny fruit.

As I took these pictures, I was caught up in how 
the berries' variation in size,
created by their distance from the lens 
made for a rhythmic composition, 
one that teased my eyes into following
their little shapes around the frame.
There is an artist, Yayoi Kusama, whose obsession 
with dots has resulted in a wide range of work
using polka dots as the theme. Who'da thought that
the humble dot could have such possibilities,
resulting in paintings, sculptures, and installations
the world over? In fact, the renowned French company,
Louis Vuitton, based a recent collection on 
Ms. Kusama's work, a promotional video 
for which is shown below.

After looking at the berries and Kusama's work, 
I find myself becoming more interested in the dots,
noticing them in the swarming trail of bubbles 
I swim in as I follow another swimmer in the pool
each night. Sometimes, they support me,
raising me up in the water, making it easier to swim.
Mostly though, they are a warning that I am getting 
a bit too close. Either way, they are my friends,
just as Yayoi Kusama's are hers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Blue

As you walk just ahead of me,
through the woods, I watch you.
Your shirt blue, like mine,
edge-lit by the fading sun,
accents your blue eyes,
clear and honest, full of humor.
Your hair turning silver - like mine,
Glinting in the light.
I just want you to be.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Textured Tuesday: Theme and Variation

There is something about the pattern 
in the rubber base of the traffic barrel that 
echoes the shapes of the concrete 
chunks lying just beside it.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Concrete Evidence

A section of a street near my home is having its surface ground down, 
then repaired and repaved. When this has been completed, 
new curbs are being installed, as needed. Here, one can see evidence 
of the heavy equipment used to perform the work; 
the tread marks of the dump trucks and grinders left behind 
where they were driven through the wet conctete slurry. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Theme Day: Looking Out

While working and swimming, the days have passed fairly quickly, 
so much so that I nearly overlooked the "looking out"
theme for December 1st. I guess though, in my attempt to miss nothing, 
I spend a lot of time looking out for stuff, including 
these back-lit grasses and flower stalks.

Photographers from the world over have posted 
their contributions for today's theme at the City Daily Photo portal.
Click the above link to see the varied interpretations,
or the CDP badge on the right-hand side of this page.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


With its cornstalks clipped  into a crewcut, this field 
lies fallow in the late afternoon sun.
Even as the furrows run off into the distance,
describing for us an expanse of wonderful open space,
I remind myself that the concrete roads are not that
far away. With homes nearby as well,
all waiting to spread their cancer, robbing us
of this beautiful arable land, lying purple
and gold not far outside Marion County 
and Indianapolis.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Some Assembly Required

Magically, somewhere from one of Santa's storage bins, 
the hats appear, everything from a red velvet pimp hat, 
to Rudolph antler caps, to a funereal black velvet 
"Bah Humbug!" Santa hat.
Then we all gather for a group photo wearing our choice 
of the Christmas millinery. What began as a pretty
casual Thanksgiving stunt, with everyone taking their 
own pictures, now involves tripods and umbrellas 
for diffused lighting.
The picture below is missing four adults and two
of the three-year-old triplets, all of whom eventually
found their places in line. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I spent the day with my brother's family in a converted barn 
on the west side of the county. There was plenty of food
and too many little kids to count. The babies kept themselves
and the adults entertained all day and, along with
one large dog, made for an enjoyable time.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


These cat-tails were practically all that remained of the foliage surrounding 
the retention pond near Lafayette and Georgetown Roads.
Everything had been mowed down the large fenced area, 
destroying habitat for water birds that live/d there.
Across the pond a quartet of trees reflected their images
on to the pond's surface, a quiet presence that helped to 
fill in the empty space surrounding them.
Perhaps next year the undergrowth will return, creating
a nursery for the offspring of geese and ducks.