I do so love a good read. To me there is nothing like it.I am under the spell of two good books right now. Elizabeth The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith. This is understandably a fairly long book and as such I pick it up and put it down, reading other books in between.
Elizabeth The Queen is a very well researched and well written book. Queen Elizabeth II has played an important role in my life as I spent a good part of my early years in Commonwealth countries,namely New Zealand,Australia and Hong Kong. There are plenty of photos of the Queen usually one in every home and a lot of coverage by the media. Consequently,the Queen and the Royal Family are present in one’s life and consciousness.
In fact the Queen, with Prince Phillip and Princess Ann made a visit to my town, Auckland, while I was there a couple of times. I had my camera with me and managed to be in the front row as Queen Elizabeth made her way down our main street in Auckland, Queen St lined with citizens. It came my turn for my moment with the Queen. Says I after curtsying,”are you having a good holiday?” To which she replied “HOLIDAY ?!!”
What did I know? I was a young 20 something.This said, Her Highness smiled and moved on to the next person. Thus my moment with the Queen who is about 18 years older than I. Almost a lifetime to me at that time. I did not fare so well with Princess Ann who scowled at me as I was taking a rather close close up of her as she greeted people on the roadway up to our lovely museum perched on a hill in Auckland. A large Corinthian building with great pillars and a lovely view of the city. If I could only find those photographs I would post them here.
The wonderful Appalachian writer Ron Rash writes so very well. I recently read his book Saints at the River. This is a really good read. Here’s a bit from the book….By the time we got to the Ranger station the rain had thinned to drizzle.Fog on the Tamassee’s surface smoldered like a doused fire….. On those mornings
the fog felt like a countercurrent, moving opposite the earth’s rotation, to hold everything, even time, in abeyance.”
I love Ron Rash’s writing. He also wrote a book called Serena which is a helluva read.He has written several other stories, published several poetry books and is the winner of many awards.
My third book is by Bob Dylan ” Chronicles Volume One”. First published in 2004 in the UK. Bob talks about his early days in New York city in the Village. He also talks about how difficult it was being so famous and the lack of privacy he and his family endured, especially during those days in 1968 and the peace movements when he was expected to lead those rallies in Washington DC and elsewhere.
Just as all of us struggle to find our voice, Dylan relays what it was like for him. I am really enjoying this book.
On another note, please check out the Letter Q :Eileen Miles on Poets.org.” This letter is a reprint from “The Letter Q” a collection of notes written by queer writers to their younger selves.” It is a wonderful piece and really to me genderless as you didn’t ( at least in my experience) need to be “Queer” to have a hard time getting accepted by your peers at school or wherever. At least I never seemed to really fit in as I was growing up. Due mainly to a multiplicity of “reasons”
but isn’t that so for so many of us writers?
So here’s a poem I recently wrote and oh look it is to some extent on subject:
We walk a path so ill defined
at first lost in some underbrush
with twists and turns
some lucky few know
Like a hummingbird flies straight
to it’s summer world albeit
continents away. What way?
you ask…the one that takes you
Across the plains of every man
the earnest brow the piercing eye
and know the secret heart
a song that sings and leads us on
and here within the silence of our heart
Awakens within a peace in stillness there
that burns without a flame or heat
come still closer,closer still.