Ninety-One


Last evening, I attended a Tony Bennett concert on the Biltmore Estate. It was a magical evening set on the South lawn of the house. As my friends and I sat in the audience, the mountains rose and the sky was lit with color. It was a wonderful experience of music, nostalgia and beauty. My desire is to share some of that with all of you.

 

Ninety-One

 

The Stage

The people

The murmur

People settling

Bandstand is erect waiting

in anticipation.

Audience shuffling, moving

Looking

over right shoulder

Another Show

spectacular in beauty

Mountains in repose

intense sunset lighting sky —

Reds, oranges, yellows

The Bandstand —

The notes, rich music fills ears

As color fill eyes.

A voice, his voice. Amazing

His voice rises up

Transports listeners

Back, back to another time

Perhaps a more

innocent period

Big Band, Band Leader

Conducts

Men, women dance

away evenings

Some fall —

in and out of love.

Music fills ears

Color fills eyes

Spectacular!

He sings. He sings at 91.

His voice rises up —

He is enjoying himself

And happy to be alive!

—Poem and Photographs Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

Biltmore House
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Tony Bennett with Pianist and Guitarist
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

Tony Bennett with Pianist and Guitarist
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Tony Bennett with drummer, guitarist and bassist
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

sunset
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Sunset with Mountains
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Biltmore After Dark
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

Biltmore after Dark
Photograph and Copyright Barbara Mattio 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Reach up to the Sky


Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

Reach up to the Sky

The sky was Carolina Blue

Sun rays chase

butterflies and bees

Wind sweeps mountains and forests

Wind dances and flutters

through the trees

Carrying Nature’s fragrance

to the bees.

Off to see the Gorge and Falls

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

Can’t grasp the Beauty

all at once

Mountains, virgin forests,

gorge, clean air

Lens to eye – must capture it

Mountains, forests,

Lush greenery.

Hawks sail over gorge

Riding wind

Fresh water flowing

Amongst the boulders

Deer drinking – listening…

listening to humans

Far away

Falls…

Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2017

Picturesque, tumbling

Flowing over rock

Hush…hear the water

in its journey

along to the

next falls

Sun warms skin – insects buzz on trail

Stop along the way

to put lens to eye

Many trees posing for

photograph

Acquiescing

Feel the loving energy

Lift up arms to sky

Be one with all of Life…

Reach up and grab your

piece of the sky

Your piece of all that is

strong and good.

Reach up and respect all Life

We come from the same

Star dust

Reach up to the sky and

in gratitude bless

All the life

Around you.

copyright 2017 Barbara Mattio

Honoring Harriet Tubman


National Historic Park Honoring Harriet Tubman May Soon Become a Reality

Kirstin Fawcett

Harriet Tubman’s residence near Auburn, New York is now closer than ever to becoming an official national historic park, the Associated Press reports.

According to New York state senator Charles Schumer, the Department of the Interior has finalized a land transfer agreement that allows for the National Park Service to create the park. Now, all the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park needs to become a reality is approval from the secretary of the interior. (Congress approved legislation to create the park in December 2014, along with a similar park near Tubman’s birthplace on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.)

In 1859, the famed Underground Railroad conductor moved to the Auburn area—then home to a strong abolitionist community—after New York senator William Seward offered to sell her his home. Tubman lived there with her parents, and in 1896, purchased 25 acres of adjoining land to build a housing community for elderly African-Americans, eventually called the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged. In 1903, Tubman deeded the home to a local church, the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church, on the condition that they manage the home.

The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park will include several properties, Syracuse.com reports. The land transfer deal approved by the Department of the Interior allows for the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. and AME Zion Church to sell its ownership of the church and the Home for the Aged Rectory to the federal government. Meanwhile, Tubman’s former home, the Home for the Aged, and a historic barn will be jointly run by the National Park Service and Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. through a preservation easement.

“As a New Yorker and an American, I’m deeply proud to see Tubman Park finally become a reality,” Schumer said in a statement quoted by Syracuse.com. “The Tubman Historic Park in Auburn will be a magnet for visitors that will tell the amazing story of Harriet Tubman’s life, an extraordinary American, and her story deserves to be shared with our children and grandchildren. This park will serve that solemn purpose and preserve her legacy for countless generations to come.”

 

 

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I Like To Think of Harriet Tubman
by Susan Griffin

I like to think of Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman who carried a revolver,
who had a scar on her head from a rock through
by a slave-master (because she
talked back), and who
had a ransom on her head
of thousands of dollars and who
was never caught, and who
had no use for the law
when the law was wrong,
who defied the law, I like
to think of her.
I like to think of her especially
when I think of the problem of
feeding children.

The legal answer
to the problem of feeding children
is ten free lunches every month,
being equal, in the child’s real life,
to eating lunch every other day.
Monday, but not Tuesday.
I like to think of the President
eating lunch Monday, but not
Tuesday.
And when I think of the President
and the law, and the problem of
feeding children, I like to
think of Harriet Tubman
and her revolver.

And then sometimes
I think of the President
and other men,
men who practice the law,
who revere the law,
who make the law,
who enforce the law
who live behind
and operate through
and feed themselves
at the expense of
starving children
because of the law,
men who sit in paneled offices
and think about vacations
and tell women
whose care it is
to feed children
not to be hysterical
not to be hysterical as in the word
hysterikos, the greek for
womb suffering,
not to suffer in their wombs,
not to care,
not to bother the men
because they want to think
of other things
and do not want
to take the women seriously.
I want them
to take women seriously
I want them to think about Harriet Tubman,
and remember,
remember she was beat by a white man
and she lived
and she lived to redress her grievances
and she lived in swamps
and wore the clothes of a man
bringing hundreds of fugitives from
slavery, and was never caught,
and led an army,
and won a battle,
and defied the laws
because the laws were wrong, I want men
to take us seriously.
I am tired of wanting them to think
about right and wrong.
I want them to fear.
I want them to feel fear now
as I have felt suffering in the womb, and
I want them
to know
that there is always a time
there is always a time to make right
what is wrong,
there is always a time
for retribution
and that time
is beginning.

 

 

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The African American and their his/herstory with Missionaries.

The African American and their his/herstory with Missionaries.

 

 

 

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What is the Importance of a Tree?


A few days ago, when I went to the Light Center because I was ill, I was thinking about the mountains. The trees were soaring over head and the air was so clean and fresh. I thought about how amazing it must have been to have traveled here 100-200 years ago. I was looking at the trees and wondering how long they had been there. Below are some of the pictures I took.

Veterans of Foreign Wars asked the government to set aside a fitting stand of trees to the memory of Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer was both a WWI soldier and a poet.  He is remembered most for his nature poetry and his poem “Trees.”

 

Trees

 

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the earth’s sweet

flowing breast.

 

A tree that looks at God all day

And lifts her leafy arms to pray.

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair.

 

Upon whose bosom snow has lain.

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

—Joyce Kilmer

 

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Evergreens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

Evergreens. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2014

“Let my mind bear sweet fruit and

fragrant flowers,

as this tree is planted of the soil of Thy spirit.

—with branches downwards:

 

I see Thy hand

blessing me

—-rising upwards.

 

in the night:

My heart stands in waiting and hope

as the trees stand through the darkness of night.”

—Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

The trees give us clean air and shade in the summer. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

The trees give us clean air and shade in the summer. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

 

“How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!

The heavens declare Your glory,

the arch of sky display Your handiwork

In Your love You have given us the power

to behold the beauty of Your world

robed in all its splendor

The sun and the stars, the valleys and hills,

the rivers and lakes all disclose Your presence.

The roaring breakers of the sea tell of Your awesome Might,

the beasts of the field and the bird of the air

bespeak Your wondrous will.

In Your goodness You have made us able to hear

the music of the world. The voices of loved ones

reveal to us that You are in our midst.

A divine voice sings through all creation.”

—Jewish Prayer

 

 

The tree seem to scrape the sky

The trees seem to scrape the sky. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016

Till It Happens to You


At this year’s Oscars, Lady Gaga and a stage of Sexual Violence Survivors took a stand for all the victims, with her anthem which became the theme for the documentary “Hunting Ground” about sexual violence on college campuses.

 

 

 

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A Woman’s Issue

 

The woman in the spiked device that locks around the waist and between

the legs, with holes in it like a tea strainer

is Exhibit A.

 

The woman in black with a net window

to see through and a four inch

wooden peg jammed up

between her legs so she can’t be raped

is Exhibit B.

 

Exhibit C is the young girl

dragged into the bush by the midwifes

and made to sing while they scrape the flesh

from between her legs, then tie her thighs

till she scabs over and is called healed.

Now she can be married.

For each childbirth they’ll cut her

open, then sew her up.

Men like tight women.

The ones that die are carefully buried.

 

The next exhibit lies flat on her back

while eighty men a night

move through her, ten an hour.

She looks at the ceiling,listens

to the door open and close.

A bell keeps ringing

Nobody knows how she got here.

 

You’ll notice that what they have in common

is between the legs. Is this

why wars are fought?

Enemy territory, no man’s land,

to be entered furtively,

fenced, owned, but never surely,

scene of these desperate forays

at midnight, captures

and sticky murders, doctors’ rubber gloves

greasy with blood, flesh made inert, the surge

of your own uneasy power.

 

This is no museum.

Who invented the word love?

 

—————–Margaret Atwood, feminist author and poet

Author of the Handwife’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

 

 

 

 

 

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Giving Thanks


 

We, in America, are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving. It is tomorrow but I have company coming in for the feast. So I will not be blogging tomorrow. Every person on Mother Earth will be on my mind and in my heart.

 

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I would like to wish all of my American readers a very joyful and happy holiday.

To my readers around the world, I would like to wish you a safe, healthy and happy weekend. May all put aside differences and focus on gratitude and the miracle of being alive. I wish to thank all of my readers for your loyalty and your wisdom as you leave your comments. You have all blessed me greatly.

 

We give-away our thanks to the earth

which gives us our home.

We give-away our thanks to the rivers and lakes

which give-away their water.

We give-away our thanks to the trees

which give-away fruit and nuts.

We give-away our thanks to the wind

which brings rain to water the plants.

We give-away our thanks to the sun

who gives-away warmth and light.

All beings on earth: the trees, the animals, the wind

and the rivers give-away to one another

so all is in balance.

We give-away our promise to begin to learn

how to stay in balance with all the earth.

—Dolores La Chapelle

 

The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The joy of color. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015