Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rhap365 Day 32. Old dog learns new tricks

#Rhapsody365 Day 32.

What had been (some time ago) the Menifee, Arkansas elementary school.

Those of you on my named Facebook page may have already seen these, but yesterday I attempted my very first HDR's ever. I have one photo-buff friend who says I did "okay" for my first try. Indeed, I do see ways to improve all of these, but I am pretty stoked. I think I will be trying a lot more Heightened Dynamic Range photos in the future.


You would think that as a guy who has been taking pictures for this long, I would have tried an HDR image before now. But nope.  Mostly, because I have seen a lot of BAD HDR. But then, I have seen some really superb stuff, that looks full but not fake. Who knows, this one still feels a little overdone.

For the unacquainted, HDR is a photo technique in which the photographer uses his or her computer to blend several images of the same thing, which were taken at different exposures. In this case I took 5 exposures of this setting, and then used Photoshop to blend the images for more detail in the shadows. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rhap365 Day 31: Fire in the Sky

‪#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 31

Well, there goes the neighborhood. I have missed several days in a row of my 365, not because of a lack of images... but because of too many. I have been running hither and yawn (is that really the phrase) taking pictures of events and such. Just no time to post. So here is a quick volley from this morning's dalley with an eternal flame, combined with playing with levels in PhotoShop. What shapes do you see?

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rhap365 day 29: Corrupt

#Rhapsody 365 Day 29

Part of the pressure of a 365 is to see, or create something daily. Sometimes so much happens in a day that I am tempted to spread my harvest out over several days. Then there are those days where I stumble on not much of anything. I suspect decaying sycamore leaves (these still on the branch) are an acquired taste. But I like'm.

I will enjoy God, while the world falls apart, slowly on the vine.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rhap365 Day 28: Anomaly/Riddle

#Rhapsody365, Day 28: Anomaly.

Today's offering is something of a riddle for the three people who who look at this page.

Have you ever seen such an event in the heavens? Can you explain it?

(Ps. This is a single exposure, No trickery.)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Rhap365 Day 27: Darn

#Rhapsody365 Day 27

Blood moon bust.  Guess I'm gonna have to wait till 2035 or something of the like.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Rhap365 Day 26: Big Mart Bunt, one of my favorite poems.

#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 26.

Today, is something of a bunt. Car in the shop. Cleaning house. No photos. So I am sharing one of my very favorite poems from yesteryear. I really think it is worthy of a read.

“BIG MART” 5/27/02

I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day;
(Whether in my mind or out of it I can not tell.)

And I heard behind me, a voice
like the sound of many waters
rippin’ through
a tin kazoo …

“WaWa Wa Wa Wawa Woo”

And I saw before my eyesa big and outstanding marvel:
Where once stood a forest
a monolithic brick:

A city in a single form and dressedin tincture of elephant and sky with garnish of red,
rising from a plain
of crushed obsidian.

And there before the mammoth wall,a wetless sea, with tailess whales
circling the plain and searching for a place to rest.

Everywhere the oxidizing basketsbasking in between the whales.
Everywhere the streaming co-eds.

And I beheld two minimalistic-nods to art-deco:Turrets strung above the gates and sporting signage:
“Always, Always”
hovering above twin falls.

Then, to my delightthe waters split
like a curtain pulled sideward,
and I saw, behind them a courtyard of the coarsest marble.

So I thought: What is the meaning of this crude stone?

Then a voice within my head replied:
“This is rock of select-frictionchosen to protect owners of said city against law-suits should the people slip.”

And before I could, a voice outside my head replied:

Welcome to the Hall of NationsWelcome to The Wood between the Worlds …
Welcome the Land where lives converge.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome,
come and spend.

And Lo (and High)

I beheld grand and astonishing bedazzlements that no man can mention save me:

I saw the beautiful bones of walking peasantsand the pleasant pies.
I saw cream of star, arranged in bars and bathing
Game-boys and socks, and a roof
like the state of Kansas -spanning from the east-wind to the west.
I saw visages and vectors
slung like blades: pictures of the smiling Associates
wearing wears.
I saw cattle-cars of goods and goods,
and the floor in between
like a gleaming grid, all wet with dried shellac.


The time is Ten O’clock on Sunday night.

Who would have thought to shop right now?But one of every two hundred students in our big
college town is prancing down the isles
in the mating dance of eyes
and buying files.

One of every 1000 families is buying milkand hose for his wife
and pencils for his kids.
And one of every me
can hardly take another ounce of pleasure.


Then as I skipped(reeling as I do, in the I-AM of being)
One, like a son of Sam said:
Come, follow me and I will show you what ye seek.
Behold, the splints of
aromatic cedar
griping graphite from Ceylon
and mixed with Mississippi clay …
and sprayed in school-bus golden.

And I lookedat himas if he were an imbecile… to which he then replied:
“Have you ever read ‘I, Pencil’
you should.”


Then were my eyes were opened tothe mystery of commerce
and the many antecedents
swirling on, or about my feet.

Here, the shining vinylmade of peat bog and wax, and the man who feeds his
face by making it to gleam.

Here, the waiting bubbles like a secret code, hidin syrup from Nebraska, caged in a can from Alcoa.

Here, the tropic sun and siltwith caffeine kick, minted in Honduras.
Here the unseen trucks that course by night
to dump the living lobster
and the intricate outbursts
of the Japanese mind.

Here the masses from Malaysia,China and Taiwan, bent across the polyester oil-fields
and cotton gins,
sowing seams
and clothing me in reams of labor
for an hour of my own.

Here the ground-up pigs on plates of foam,and German brains, applied
to the beautiful gears.
Here the pulling on the teats of cows,
the purposed rot of milk, ...the graceful eggs.

Here, the chosen fontsand art campaigns, athletes leaping from the boxes
to sell another flake.

Here (real time): The sons of Adam and the chicks of Eve,weaving in and out of ears. Goateed men, pretending to like shopping
and the dames, with their gametes tucked inside, ready to
deliver new consumers.

Then did I behold (waiting with me in the chutes)a multitude of kids, from every nation, tribe, and tongue:
Our baskets brimming in cilantro and the stuff
of every nation, tribe, and tongue;
Our lungs, twined in the air;
and I cried (with delight)

“Could this really be the Arkansasthat opposed integration?”

It stands in my mindlike a growing constant: things that are, are fed by many branches,
which in turn are fed by branches which in turn are fed by branches till
the only explanation for what is,
must never start with nothing

but with all.

Consider the power of the HAND,and the infinite wisdom of the ONE
capable of chasing,
and igniting all loose ends,
then reduce and back away


Wal-Mart rises, not from any so called “bang”
but from The Big Condense.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Rhap365 Day 25: Who's Your Daddy?

Who's your Daddy?
Rhapsody365 Day 25

This is the only photo I took in the last 24 hours that really intrigued me. This guy was about the side of a half grapefruit. But don't worry. Daddy Long Legs don't qualify as spiders.

Rhap365: Wet Ink

Hot off the press, Before the Ink dried...

Rhapsody365 Day 24

And then He placed his hand accidentally on the newly painted crepes, smearing them across the sky. (Except God does not make accidents. Or something like that.


A friend of mine from Conway AR, took a picture at roughly the same time, several miles away.  He framed this same cloud formation as a backdrop for a football game. I will see if I can get his image.  Wierd compare.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rhap365 Day 23: clockwise or counter?

Hibiscus Similitudes: Grapefruit. Aperture blades. Rose. Gardenia

‪#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 23

I wonder if Hibiscus-blooms on the southern side of the planet un-roll the other way. Actually it looks like the first is a clockwise whirl, while the second set whirls counter. Hmmm

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rhap365 Day 22: Southern Lights

Southern Lights: Aurora Cloudiorus

‪#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 22

pics 9/221/15 Central ARkanass

This may be the first time this season we have been graced with high colored cirrus clouds. Until last week it was Cumulo Popcornballus all the way.

Ps. Can you find the moon?  Oh, and a jet. (Probably only if you have a very BIG screen.)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Rhap365 Day 21: Flit


‪#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 21

Images 9/21/15

So, when I first started this 365 I said I would focus more on words, than on images. Hasn't happened too much yet. Words are hard work.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Rhaps365 Day 20: Similitudes

Zinia Similitudes: 
PineCone, Cedar Shingle Roof, Gold-Fish, Parrot.
#Rhapsody365 Day 20

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rhap365 Day 18: Faders, Part 1

Day 18.

Not much commentary to today cause I am on the run.  I took these pics a day ago.  The gardeners tore out the patch today.  Shucks.  Just as it was getting interesting. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Rhap365, Day 17: Creepers

#Rhapsody365 Day 17, Creepers

Okay, so this image is not very Rhapsidorious. But it is kind of cool, and dark and creepy, and filled with a homage to miracle. Anyone else out there blown away by spiders and their webs?

I found this web outside my house. I could not see the web, but I could see the little ball of spider, just floating in space. I turns out that the spider fastened his (or her) web to a tree above, and the ground below, then build the web in between two vertical strands. It would have been pretty much impossible to anchor the web horizontally.

As for the photo. I have found that I can light a web if I hit is with hard light from the side. It does not work nearly so well direct. I took some pictures without the me, then stood behind the web and gave it a full load of manual flash. I am blown out, but the web is just about right. It takes that much light to make them visible in the dry daylight.

I hope to have more. There is a reason that Holloween features spiders. This is their grand showtime.

Odd other thought. Today I thought about how each little spider is a repository of specific genetic information - little bundle of carefully choreographed parts and DNA, and that little bundle must somehow be kept alive, in some form through winter, through drought, thru rain and flood. Beyond that, I don't think spiders spin webs year around. So this elaborate trap must somehow bring in enough hall to keep that little bundle of DNA, active - till it replicates and spins out new little bundles of spider DNA. Or something like that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rhaps365 Day 16: Those Infernal Bars

Road to Slocum, Part 3
those infernal bars.

‪#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 16

I am not much a fan of the stars and bars... but if there ever was a place for them, it would be on the grave of a man who watched his older siblings fight that war on southern soil. (that is a guess, based on his birth year.)

What most engaged me about this place was its hiddenness. The road to the Slocum Cemetery is a two rut gravel path, perhaps a half mile off the major highway, which itself is pretty much a road for combines and pickups. The Slocum Cemetery flanked what appeared to be a sorghum field. Beyond that, I was taken by the fact that there were so many Slocum's. Makes sense.


I will enjoy God while waiting on the day for wars, right - wrong or some bizarre admixture - are vanquished from the earth.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Rhaps 365, Day 15: Road to Slocum, part 2

#Rhaposody365  Day 15

Slocum Cemetery, Cross County, ARkansas.
All images, September 3, 2015

Not sure what town this was near.  It was off a farming highway.  The road in the final picture is the road to the cemetery.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Rhap365 Day 14: Shred

#Arkansas365 Day 14

I will enjoy God, as empires crumble.

All images Slocum Cemetery, Cross County, ARkansas.  Images September 3, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rhap365: Day 13: Filled

#Rhapsody365 Day 13: Filled

Image 9/12/2015 Harrison, ARkansas Balloon Festival.


The other day I mentioned that before I started Rhapsody365, I had considered making it EnjoyingGod365. Now it looks like I may be making it a strong inner theme.

What does it mean to enjoy God?

The phrase itself is not my own. It has a rich tradition in Christian thought, and is pulled most directly from this maxim, found in the Westminster Greater Catechism. (a document with which I have some profound differences, but not here.) It reads.

What is the Chief end of Man?

The Chief end of Man is to know God, and enjoy him forever.

The fact that that idea was penned by Christ followers of the Puritan hue may surprise some. (Some have characterized the Puritans as pleasure-hating sexually repressed prudes…but a survey of several of their spokesmen, Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet shows that we have mightily mischaracterized the Puritans.)

So What does it mean to Enjoy God?

It means we find our deepest pleasure while dwelling in his presence and savoring his gifts, including the life he has given us.

I see the enjoyment of God realized in these three, possibly four major ways.

1) We enjoy God because of who He is. (We are enamored of His being.)

2) We enjoy God because He has made the world and everything in it. 

3) We enjoy God because of the love he has lavished on us…(We enjoy him for what he does for us in our inner person.

and finally (to whom it will apply)

4) We enjoy God because He dwells in us, and fills us with genuine joy.

(There is a caveat to what I am saying -- for discussion later on, namely… that Enjoyment of God is prefaced by knowing that God is, and by being in communion him, apart from which our enjoyment of his being is greatly limited.)


One of the reason I questioned whether I should do an “Enjoying God 365, is that I wondered if I could really flesh out all of these ideas, driven by photography. At least three of these chategories are so outside the world of the visible, that I thought I might give a lopsided presentation of “Enjoying God.” By focusing on the world (and the joys to be found in it) we give only a partial sense of what it means to enjoy God.

So, while my images and art will necessarily give greater weight to point 2, I hope to address all the forms of enjoying God over these next months.

2-B continued.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rhap365 Day 12: Down with the Boogie

Day 12

I will enjoy God by getting down with the boogie.


As is, I had promised to post a video of myself dancing should my FB page – Rhapsody365 secure 500 likes.  She is now poised at 498 likes.  So consider this a preemptive strike.


Enjoying God

Okay, I admit, the wording “I will enjoy God, while getting down with the boogie” sounds odd.  (And I pray God forgive my tendency seek attention while acting the fool.)  But one of my core beliefs is that life, most fully lived, is done in the presence of God, and more.  It is lived with a deep conscious enjoyment of God, not only as we enjoy his gifts (like music, dance, and friends), but as we are given the privilege of enjoying his very presence within.

When I first started churning the idea for a new 365, I considered calling it “Enjoying God 365”    I later turned to Rhapsody365, with the idea that I did not want to pigeonhole myself thematically.   I wondered too, if that theme might sound unduly pretentious.  (or what, if I lived in such a way that my enjoyment of God was muted.)  Who knows.  I may have made a mistake in changing the name.


Every moment CAN be, about enjoying God.


Over the next week I plan to explore what it means to enjoy God, both by savoring his gifts, and through the due consideration of His being.  Until then I leave you with one of my very favorite Bible passages:

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘FOR IN HIM, WE live, and MOVE, and have our being.’  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Rhap365 Day 11: Hole

I suspect other creative types will understand the frustration - perhaps even the embarrassment -- that comes with looking at our earlier creations and finding them deeply wanting. My sense is that the written form of my poem "911- Hole in the World" fares pretty well, but my video version, recorded 10 years after 2001, now feels unduly contrived. I was trying to create an emotion, but it feels like acting. I wonder if singers sometimes feel like that when the emotions that fueled their original song are long gone.

What I can tell you is that the events surrounding September 11 triggered a creative avalanche in my soul. I think I penned over a dozen poems in the month following. I would like to find such an outpouring again, but not at the expense. Deep trauma seems, in my life, to be part of the creative process, at least as pertains to poems.

Has anyone else experienced a correlation between misery, dysfunction, or chaos -- and the creative process?


911 - Hole in the World

Hole / Sept. ii (created Sept 12/13-2001)

A totally inadequate poem

From the Journals of the Kirk-- "Why do I take pictures 1985" :
So, here we have it. I want to share with you a world. I want to tell you that the world is at once an unapproachable glory, the outlands of heaven in our midst. I want to tell you that the world is alive with ongoing miracle and that the trees are like hard seaweed on the bottom of the Numa Sea . (Where did that come from?) I want too, to tell you that the thing is broken, the world has veered, and the code has been rewritten. I want you to sell your car or house, Finally, I want them to tear down the World Trade Centers… or better yet, convert them into apartments for the poor, or if not that, build some huge barn between them and make them into the front spires of a very grand cathedral.

I’ll admit,
this thought isn’t safe
or a thing I say too loud (but hear me out.)
I have seen them with a foreign eye
like turrets on a godless-church,
silvereen, and soaring high
But missing the cathedral --
Testimonies to the arrogance of man
against every rule of nature,
TALL with vertigo and force,
streaming upward like
welded boxcars --
Two silver fists
in the face of God:

Like spikes in a rotted apple.

But today, I weep
and if you will, let me
with imagination
Bleed for pagans
and believers,
the bearded business men, the
brokers and the broken,
the silent mimes and firemen,
sisters, daughters, mothers, fathers, and
these ever-feuding sons of Abraham --
Father Abraham
has many sons --
those who walk in faith and seek
a city
made by God;
But don't we weep to see
Faith twisted into obscene forms.

I see with different eyes,
and I repent .. for wearing monocles.
Could it be
that a THING might be
than any ONE thing
at once?
Today, I see what were
twin trumpets,
Blasting out a tune to
to the majesty of man.
I see
two trees
mightier than redwoods,
brushing stars
and brushed
in lemon light
like a sky-house hotel
for Leprechauns.
I see
mighty rivers decked
in vivid commerce;
Old-world villages
replete with jugglers and silk –
boats on ropes whizzing up the ditches
laden with exotic wares from foreign lands
like some grand-market
tipped upward.
I see twin
Towers, like thin lanes of light,
Bars of gold, beacons on the rim --
shining out a tale of
industry and might
and incomprehensible blessing --
leading a parade.

I see within,
and on each floor
(stacked above each other like coins)
a little town from Arkansas
with hatted men
and football teams,
the smiling bells (now wearing jeans)
and the bee-hive ladies yakking
at the hair salon.

I see faith in the 24the century.

We saw a universe
with fifty-thousand centers
anchored in a common block.
We heard the twine of beating hearts
like a ten-thousand drums, and then
the lull,
and now, the tortured
patter of the few,
And we felt within ourselves
the stuff of horror.
Veins, and brains
and towers like slit arteries
collapsing into bloody dust
before our eyes.
They say, on the radio today
that this is a different country.
And we believe it.
We will never feel the same.
We are all new Yorkers, wearing black.


Once there were two towers
Tall as titans
Full of grace
She wore the moon within her hair,
He wore the sun upon his face,
and they walked in the garden
with I-AM
without shame.

Then some devil of a serpent
slashed the air,
One tower fell, and then…


‪#‎Rhapsody365‬ Day 11

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rhap365 Day 10: Vincent's Golden Dream

Some years ago I read that gold for Van Gogh, represented the life and presence of God.

I cannot now find anything that verifies this idea, but I did find this:

‘Van Gogh’s use of yellow is considered to derive from the sun, and appears to be related to an ambivalence to his father, as expressed in sun worship, while the complementary colours red and green were correlated with his bisexuality and castration anxiety.’

( )


To be honest, I doubt we could ever know WHY Vincent used yellow (unless he said so specifically)... but for years now I have made yellow my color of presence.

I see yellow, and I see the pleasure and presence of God in the world, much like a weak spot in the skin of heaven.

So what do you see when you see Yellow?

Rhapsody365 Day 10.  Wild Sunflowers of an unknown variety.  All images 9/6/15  Stillwater, OK

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rhap365 Day 9: Descent of the Giant Pizza Box

Today I will enjoy God, as I watch the world disintegrate, and praise Him for the immutability of his being.


These are not the kind of images that generally grace "Verse Posters" - but then, verse posters don't generally reference those things which engender deeper praise.

As this project unfolds, I hope to pay attention to a lesson, and an acrostic I learned in Junior High at the hands of Pastor Bob Kelter.

Dr. Kelter sought to teach us the attributes of God, and used the following letters, all placed in a pyramid, to help us remember specific qualities of God.

The letters were:

(Which I pronounce as ShaLeeOOOOit)

The "I" stood for "Immutable.

Do any of my five followers wish to guess the meaning of the other letters?

Does anyone care to hazard what immutable means?

‪#‎Rhapsodody365‬ Day 9 Prue, Oklahoma images 9/6/15