Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FSO- Up/Down Your Town

Everyone is so good, so creative in their interpretations of our weekly topics that I almost was lazy and didn't write anything about it. This topic was originally suggested by Sara Lulu but because she no longer participates, I couldn't ask her to write something for us and I liked the suggestion so much I just took it as ours.
So here goes my ideas on this topic for our towns ....

Look down at your feet, at the surface where they walk. Look back, back the way they came and where they go.

Look up, above your head. What can you see? How is it protected? What lights your days and your nights, on the path that you walk?

This topic brings so much to mind I will probably have trouble settling on one thing - just this week I have noticed designs in the tiles in the front of stores, floors that are wood and some that are bare concrete - designs are so distinctively Brasil - we'll see you on Friday. -GingerV

Okay, you guys are used to my artistic sense of adventure and interpretation. I got asked to video an very lovely and talented singer/songwriter Flora Newberry. She teaches music as a prestigious school in downtown Princeton. She needed a video for her father's 70th birthday, since all the siblings were sending that to him this year. I said "It's sunny outside lets go to one of my favorite spots. I just wrote a poem about it, and I always felt Princeton Battlefield Monument would make a great back drop for my directorial debut one day.

Ha! We get there and the sun is gone, and we are very very cold, but the show must go on! I used it for my 'Look Up, Look Down' theme as well.

Here is my perspective with sound- sung by Flora Newberry...

You know how tomatoes go, you look on the ground and figure this is a good spot to plant them. Then before you know it your looking up at a beautiful plant, then you want to eat'em!

Home Grown Tomatoes Song Written by Guy Clark, but popularized through singing by John Denver- Video directed and filmed by E Stelling (always wanted to see that somewhere)...

Thank you for stopping by and you can go check out more My Town Friday Shoot Out Members...

Monday, January 25, 2010

'Juicy' Aftermath

‘Juicy’ by Rebecca Haegele

Obsession’ably Orange

Fingers caress
Dimpled beauty
Tainting oil for oil
Fragrance faint
Zester’s flavor dreams
Peeled back
Revealing more, than
Just a heart, a slice,
lips do seek
Each taste
Each kiss
Sweeter than the last
Here for
only moments
Juice felt fast
Sticky aftermath
Often, ‘blood’ is spilt
Wasted life, recipes
spent; fleeting stains
will not remain
Cravings cast
upon moments, daze,
until presence; its
gaze. Speaking
memory, passion
set ablaze...

Give in, take the
chance, have your
slice, wild ways
wild bites, heed
my warnings
Obsession will strike!

© Written by, E Stelling, 2010

All poetry, and photography cannot be duplicated without permission by the blog author, and or photographer via, Thank you

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Muse Monday 9- Enigma Writing

I have begun following a site called Read Write Prompt -

This weeks photo prompt is by Sepleture {Mood Disorder}

I felt it was a great photo for this weeks Muse Monday theme entry, and for their 'Get Your Poem On' over at RWP...

read write prompt #111: broken chair
by Nathan Moore

What is going on in this photo? Why is the figure staring at a three-legged chair? Why is the figure wearing a hood? What is keeping the chair from falling down?

This image appeals to me because of its enigmatic nature. In terms of writing, you might want to stay with the questions the scene elicits, linger over them, hesitate before rushing to an answer.

Or, as is often the case when faced with an enigma, you might start to symbolize. Is this is picture about facing a problem, contemplating mystery, the incomplete and frail work of human labor in the face of nature’s grandeur?

Immaterial Portal by E Stelling

‘Planets Aligning in the next 24 Hours’ read the morning monitor headlines.
Feeling uneasy as he read all five computer screens lined up around the old make shift classroom, Less could see corporate media was still using dog-whistle politics to guide the underground urban decay to the surface.
“Damn Incorporeal wars; it is a good day to go out and rummage portal landings” he screamed at the screens.
Quickly gathering only a few things he might need, Less would dress light, so he could travel by foot, and move as fast as possible.
He had to return before sunset; it was just the way of life on the top world.
With no present danger of too much sun radiation he knew exercise would be good for his recent mercurial twists of temperaments.
Seven hours of gravitational pull, and two planets blocking the only real threat to his getting out of that damn bunker helped him forget the disembodied revolutions.
Face it anyone left here to begin with was a planetary vagabond.
Less pulled back the black covering from the only window he had not boarded up.
The renaissance clouds he saw spread across the sky was a good sign that the water supply might be renewed for upcoming months.
Wells were dry and he would not risk underground wilderness riders tunneling where he might choose to dig.
Less closed back up the window and headed out the back tunnel entrance.
After two hours of walking the desolate dry grounds he decided to take a few minutes and head up to a mountain plateau just over the horizon.
Often he would find uncovered object left from wild howling winds he heard deep into the night; it also allowed him to see for miles and see if there were any signs of movement from other top dwellers.
His water was almost gone in the canteen, so he had to return soon and set up collectors for the potential rain clouds moving in by the minute.
The sky reminded him of pictures his father used to collect.
Romanticism they would call it.
Painters that believed in socialism and a world of change.
Just as he reached the top he saw an object sitting alone.
Stunned he decided it was what he believed to be a dolmen.
Had a portal opened up in this very spot?
Nothing of this material remained on his planet for ages.
Ancients talked of its existence, but no books existed with pictures.
Plastic objects were the propaganda of the corporate legacies.
The material was as if it was made yesterday.
Less feel to his knees.
What emotions he felt at this moment.
A dolmen appearing in this very spot, and how could this be?
What was he to do?
Time was running out, and the sky was speaking speed to him.
He had only moments to decide what sign was being revealed to him.

Now I have to take this and turn it into a prose somehow. Due Thursday, so I will re-post by then!

28/1/2010- Here is one I found in my archives; it could fit as a short modern...

So real

© E Stelling, 2009

This is below is the piece I Dismantle'd from the Sci-Fi piece I attempted last week...

Planets Aligning, twenty four hours seemed like years
Morning monitor reads like corporate media menu
Old dog-whistle politics, guiding people astray
They head to desolate underground, urban decay
Even on good days, portal remain refuge awaits
In spite of sun radiation, needed exercise, dress light
Hidden bunkers, hunger, disembodied revolution
Clouded out by renaissance sky, revealing beauty
Hopeful, filled canteens, desolate ground cover green
Future, mountain plateau just over the horizon
Uncovered objects left, wild howling winds lead astray
Signs of movement from other top dwellers?
Collectors, often scary, fleeting nightmare play
Damn incorporeal wars, blasting, effects everlasting
Stunned one might be, set upon the knees as if to pray
Dolmen, ancient existence, materials no longer remains
Emotions, propaganda prompted, times mistakes…

E Stelling, 2010- (I feel this piece is unfinished, need more time to re-arrange)

Please feel free to leave comments on how you feel any of these pieces worked for you...Thanks!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

FSO- Sounds In Your Town

"There are two versions of this theme. First, the simple one. We’ve been treated many different aspects of what your town looks like. Treat another sense: what makes your town sound like your town? Traffic? Kids playing? Birds? That annoying dog next door? Fill our senses with a different perspective.

The complicated version (and I apologize for not giving you more lead-time on this) I have heard called a ‘blind hike’. Find a trusty partner. Wear a blindfold (no peeking!). Get your camera, and with the help of your partner, wander around noticing what you hear. Take pictures (no peeking!) while you’re at it. It’s quite fun to do, and the photos will surprise you. Enjoy!" - NanU

Just returning from my two week trip to see my son, I have had little time to run around town and take the photos that would make this a good shoot out. However I decided to get a few of my open mic friends to help me in my dilemma, so here goes...

Can you hear these glasses clinking together?

Can you hear Tim playing the spoons?

 Can you hear Rich's harmonica?

This one is funny, but sad all in one shot. I was looking out a friends window and this is what I heard...

Here is a closer listen to the gnawing of teeth on the corner of a picnic table...I like wood as any chef who loves to smoke a good piece of meat, but this is taking it a bit too far...

I hear the sizzling of my dinner food in the skillet, so gotta go!

Thanks for stopping buy and listening to my town of New Jersey, and you can go to Mr. MckLinky, and check out the other members sites!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Southern Flavor

[Photo taken above and below is property of E Stelling, author of this website]

I have been submitting my poetry into literary magazines, and got a response from a local publication. They published this poem yesterday. I cannot scan the publication, but here is how the page looks. I got a whole page!

The poetry of Elizabeth Stelling caught my attention immediately.

She is a poet, but not the poetry that I’m familiar with.  Elizabeth makes food taste better… she cooks with her spoken words.  Her voice, full of the inflections that say “The South” churn like butter from sweet cream to my ears.  I needed to hear more.

I hoped that Wild River Review would be a good forum for her unique format. It is the written word… and the spoken one too.

“I experiment with Flavors”… Elizabeth Stelling, hails from Texas where she grew up, but after traveling and now in New Jersey works on the road as a personal chef, and restaurant consultant. Also currently teaching culinary classes, she still runs her small catering and staffing business, and shares her love of cooking with local, organic, healthy, and natural ingredients. Elizabeth is a member of Slow Food and the American Wine Society, Princeton, New Jersey. She has published written works of poetry and media pieces, as well as hosts Cultural Art Expression- Open Mic
Thank you Elizabeth for sending us into an aural state of bliss!

Corn Bread & Beans

Morning fires warmed our small feet
Only to be numbed by the cold that
Lurked in the wooden floors
In the feelings meeting us in our living room…
Hunger pulled us… one-two-three…
Into the kitchen
Watching our mother- steam rising- boiling water
Her shaking hands
Preparing poverties feast
Children’s piercing eyes… one-two-three
Hands pulling, faint cries of wanting;
A little taste, a little recognition…
Dizziness brought on by stirring
Anger- hitting the spoon on the pan
Sometime us…
Tears brought on by onions
A father walking out the door…
Life's dish of hard lessons
A burning after taste of cruelty…
Left us… one- two- three- four
With a craving for corn bread and beans…

© E Stelling, 1976

I wrote this poem when I was around fifteen, and have revised it three or four times, but I still fall back on my original version.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Muse Monday 8

Emily Dickinson

They dropped like flakes, they dropped like stars,
Like petals from a rose,
When suddenly across the June
A wind with fingers goes.

They perished in the seamless grass, --
No eye could find the place;
But God on his repealless list
Can summon every face.

Study of Princeton Battlefield

Revolutionary forces
Move across time;
Across fields, where
Young, old fall forward
With not thought;
Covering mounds,
Dirt, ash to ash
Soulful, filled memory
Marked places
Monumental stands
Hearts who return
Hearts finding solace
Who walk; among
What cannot be changed; Spirits
Blown by winds
Their whispers
Riding upon
The rustling of green grass, and sometimes
Blanketed by sun
Blanketed by snow
Buried, beneath
All time…
© E Stelling, 2010

This is a place I visit often. A place of solace for my writing. I learned on my fifth visit that across the field and behind what you see in my photo was one of Washington's greatest defense against enemy troops*. Behind the monument is the graves of the unknown soldiers. There are no markers, only the plaque that is placed at the rear of the beautiful site. I have mixed emotions when I come visit.

*The Battle of Princeton (January 3, 1777) was a battle in which General Washington's revolutionary forces defeated British forces near Princeton, New Jersey.

On the night of January 2, General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek. That night, he evacuated his position and went to attack the British garrison at Princeton. General Hugh Mercer, of the Continental Army, clashed with two Regiments under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood of the British Army. Mercer and his troops were overrun and Washington sent some Militia under General John Cadwalader to help him. The Militia, on seeing the flight of Mercer's men, also began to flee. Washington rode up with reinforcements and rallied the fleeing Militia. He led the attack on Mawhood's troops, driving them back. Mawhood gave the order to retreat and most of the troops tried to flee to Cornwallis in Trenton.

In Princeton itself, General John Sullivan forced some British troops who had taken refuge in Nassau Hall to surrender, ending the battle. Washington moved his army to Morristown, and with their third defeat in 10 days, the British evacuated New Jersey. With the victory at Princeton, morale rose in the ranks and more men began to enlist in the army. The battle was the last major action of Washington's winter New Jersey Campaign.

The site of the battle is now Princeton Battlefield State Park (information from Princeton files, and State Park site).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

FSO- Birds

Whilst visiting some of the town bloggers, I had noticed that photographing birds in the garden was a popular pastime so my first thought was to suggest a subject of garden birds. But then I realised that not everyone has the equipment to photograph the real things. That made me look out for alternatives and I noticed sculptures, posters, little models and various other things with birds on them so I hope that your town will prove equally productive and am really looking forward to seeing your birds (real or otherwise). All the best, Scriptor Senex

[My son's city team bird]

When I saw we were going to keep our eye out for birds, I found myself sheltered in my son's drafty and cool apartment right after a snow storm blew me into town last week. I thought surely even the birds are tucked all warm into their nests, so how in the world would I be able to take some decent shots.

Even I forgot about how we can stretch and interpret our themes into some creative output for the members. My St. Louis boy said "Mom, you are in the land of the Cardinals, and I have this jacket on, so bring on the camera"!

St. Louis boy and I went to see Avatar yesterday. I kept reading Mark's snippets about the movie over the course of  this week, and decided before he gave away the story we would go and see it for ourselves. Yes, I illegally took an IPhone photo of the rather odd alien bird flying across the screen. So squint and you can make it out. I am out on just how great it was...

This takes me to the good looking St. Louis boy, and his beautiful bird escort! Notice they are supporting some hot new 3D glasses. Think they can make a savvy fashion statement if they leave the theater this way...uh, I do not think so, but it was good for a laugh!

Now the snow had begun to melt and we took a nice drive, taking care of so many errands and tasks that had been put off, and what did we see, but a tree full of birds. Again you will have to IPhone does not have a zoom app...

This is the shadow of a bird of prey (below). One that places the fear of 'Ever After' Love in the hearts of girls all over St. Louis! If they happen to fall under his spell...

Ha! My son begrudgingly helped me with my bird post, by allowing his hands to form this creatures shadow on a mound of melting snow...after a few tries I finally got a shot, and with assistance from photoshop we both are hoping you feel it looks as though an eagle proudly displaying his wing span in glory atop a snowy mountain...or at least in this mothers heart...

Thanks for joining me for my 'Bird' post this week, and go check out the many others on this 'MckLinky' site...

My Town Blogger Friday Shoot Out- Birds

Here is one last photo from my archives and actually taken in New Jersey! I took last year during Easter. Food blogs have contest all throughout the year, and I entered this into a 'My Peeps' food post, and you can see my 'Roman Peeps' are protecting their plate of Italian Sun dried tomato Farro, food of the Roman troops... The head Peep is holding a very sharp (and possibly lethal) screw I found in the package of Farro I brought back from Italy the year before... Birds of a tasty kind...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Muse Monday 7

[Photo Courtesy of  Simply Heather]


Four in the morning
Risen to the rooster
Coffee and biscuits on the stove
This Texas poet ready to hit my 'New' Jersey roads
Never knowing what ingredients spark
Stand down, break out a song in this heart
Skillet, cornmeal and fish ready to jump
Moving around small to large seasoned space
Rattling metal, wood, copper, and cast iron
Counting whistles, and all my lumps
Mountains and kitchens to rise up with my burning desires
I work and rant until this freaky chef puts out the fires

- E, 2008 ©

Friday, January 8, 2010

FSO- Fences

"All over my town there are fences - tall ones and short ones, old and new, elegant and shabby. They all have something to say - like "Keep out," "Be careful!" (like this one) or "Stay right where you are," "I'm utterly exhausted" or "Look at me. Aren't I splendid?" Some have gates; others simply define a space or support a heavy vine. What kinds of fences are there in your town? Do they really make good neighbours? Or do they just isolate us? " - Sandra Leigh

I remember when I was growing up, there were no fences. Only people who had money, farmers who needed to keep their animals from roaming, or someone who just did not want people walking on their grass. Racism in our neighborhood was the highest fence around.  Many people put those fences up even now.

I believe at long ago no fences existed at all. Has fear created them?

I live in an area full of farms; otherwise even new homes are built without fences...

No fences

Remember back in the day, roads and streets, filled with children
Soccer, bikes, and baseballs flew
Across yards, and into backyards
Children had no boundaries, no fear, no unknown grounds
Houses were the same, filled with love, sometimes anger, but still full of truth
There was no such thing as a stranger, or unseen danger
If you stood out back you could see clotheslines and trees
On a good day you could see far, straight through, and blocks away
When the sun was high in the air, clothes filled each line, nobody cared
Once in a while you could hear mom and dad loudly sharing till dawn
Whiskey and bullets ruled the night; scarring mothers, children, and strangers
Up came the fences
No one wants to see into neighbors homes or lives
Neighbors have become strangers
Sisters and brothers now, isolated, are in even more danger.
Playgrounds give way to grave yards
Traces of things long gone, remain to be seen…

© E. Stelling, 9/29/08

Out one day last summer I was studying this 'Ornamental' fence from the 1700's in a historic park, back when iron was 'in fashion'; it did not surround the whole house, just merely decorated the front patches of grass as you walked up the front walk. Fashion, or style  influences are choices in many things.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On The Road Again...

Yes, I am.

My son could not come to see me for the holidays, so I decided go to him.

My culinary classes start January 18th, so I have time to get back.

Blog friends Jeanne @ The Raisin Chronicles and Debra @ Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History had dinner with me about nine hours into my trip. We enjoyed talking for a few hours, and I look forward to stopping in on them again one day!

I feel bad because I forgot to break out the camera at the restaurant! I'm bad...

After two days of snow, eighteen wheel splash back, and seeing wrecks all along the road...

I was never so glad to see the arch as my drive was coming to an end.

Well, that is till I leave to head home next week...till then, my son rocks!