Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Spotlight on Francisco Bravo Cabrera, Abstract Artist

(Yellow Leg by Francisco Bravo Cabrera, Copyright 2022 Francisco Bravo Cabrera. All Rights Reserved.)

Today, I want to shine the spotlight on a wonderful artist living in Valencia, Spain – Francisco Bravo Cabrera (a.k.a. Bodo Vespaciano). I’m not an art critic or an expert on art – especially abstract art – but I know what I like. I admire the bright colors, bold contrasts, and surreal juxtapositions in his art. The color and life in his artwork make me feel happy. I don’t know what he was thinking or feeling when he painted them, but his paintings reflect a zest for life, a curiosity, and an emotional response to just being and existing in a difficult world. His paintings are hopeful because they capture the energy and vivid brilliance of life itself.

(Acrylic on Canvas by Francisco Bravo Cabrera. Copyright 2022 Francisco Bravo Cabrera. All Rights Reserved.)

Francisco is also a world traveler, writer, poet, art historian, music lover (with a particular emphasis on jazz), and armchair philosopher. His writings appear regularly on Masticadores Spain. For a complete biography, visit his gallery here:

http://www.gallery.edgeofhumanity.com/portfolio/francisco-bravo-cabrera-a-k-a-bodo-vespaciano/

As a member of the Miami art community, Francisco was named “Artist of the Month” and owned his own art studio, Omnia Caelum Studios. You can view his art gallery at Fine Art America here:

http://www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/francisco-bravocabrera

On his WordPress blog, Francisco shares his artwork, poems, ruminations about society and life in general, and wonderful short videos about known and little-known artists and their works. He places special emphasis on women artists because their talents have been downplayed and ignored throughout history. If you want to learn more about art, please visit his blog here:

http://www.paintinginvalencia.com

Guests are always welcome!

Dawn Pisturino

December 12, 2022

Copyright 2022 Francisco Bravo Cabrera. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

42 Comments »

“Nature’s Child” Wins Honorable Mention

Dear Friends,

I’m pleased to announce that my poem, Nature’s Child, won an Honorable Mention in the Arizona Authors Association 2022 Literary Contest. It has been published in the 2023 Arizona Literary Magazine, which can be purchased on Amazon.com. I don’t normally enter contests, so I’m pleased with it!

Nature’s Child

by Dawn Pisturino

She overflowed with poetry and music and laughter,

Spilling the boundaries of her life

With delicious rivulets of innocence and joy.

She danced — naked! — in the pure white light of a waxing moon

On a soft, sultry night at the Summer Solstice

And sang to the icicle stars in the middle of winter.

Her nakedness gleamed in moonlight and candle-light,

Sunlight and lamplight,

But she feared not the shadows or the darkness of night.

They called her witch, priestess, sorceress of the Devil.

She laughed at their ignorance —

These holy men of the Church —

And covered her nakedness with rose petals and fern.

Green ivy adorned her wavy red hair —

Long strands of vine cut from ancient oak —

And, in time, she began to resemble the earth itself.

Green moss sprouted between her virgin legs

And beneath her hollow armpits.

Her toenails twisted and curled at the ends of her feet

Like earthbound roots sunk deep into the soil.

Her arms opened wide beneath the golden sun,

Offering prayers and sacrifice to the deity of Life.

She gathered all the richness of sun and rain,

Exulting in the wild green world of her existence.

She withered with the passing years,

As her limbs grew gnarled and bare,

And the birds no longer nested in her hair,

Until hunters from the village

Found her standing on the banks of a gushing stream

And bowed down to worship Nature’s Child.

~

Thanks for stopping by!

Dawn Pisturino

May 31, 2022; November 14, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

105 Comments »

The Vampire – Charles Baudelaire

(Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash)

The Vampire

by Charles Baudelaire

You who, like the stab of a knife,
Entered my plaintive heart;
You who, strong as a herd
Of demons, came, ardent and adorned,

To make your bed and your domain
Of my humiliated mind
— Infamous bitch to whom I’m bound
Like the convict to his chain,

Like the stubborn gambler to the game,
Like the drunkard to his wine,
Like the maggots to the corpse,
— Accurst, accurst be you!

I begged the swift poniard
To gain for me my liberty,
I asked perfidious poison
To give aid to my cowardice.

Alas! both poison and the knife
Contemptuously said to me:
“You do not deserve to be freed
From your accursed slavery,

Fool! — if from her domination
Our efforts could deliver you,
Your kisses would resuscitate
The cadaver of your vampire!”

~Charles Baudelaire~

— Translated by William Aggeler, from The Flowers of Evil 

Le Vampire in French:

Le Vampire

par Charles Baudelaire

Toi qui, comme un coup de couteau,
Dans mon coeur plaintif es entrée;
Toi qui, forte comme un troupeau
De démons, vins, folle et parée,

De mon esprit humilié
Faire ton lit et ton domaine;
— Infâme à qui je suis lié
Comme le forçat à la chaîne,

Comme au jeu le joueur têtu,
Comme à la bouteille l’ivrogne,
Comme aux vermines la charogne
— Maudite, maudite sois-tu!

J’ai prié le glaive rapide
De conquérir ma liberté,
Et j’ai dit au poison perfide
De secourir ma lâcheté.

Hélas! le poison et le glaive
M’ont pris en dédain et m’ont dit:
«Tu n’es pas digne qu’on t’enlève
À ton esclavage maudit,

Imbécile! — de son empire
Si nos efforts te délivraient,
Tes baisers ressusciteraient
Le cadavre de ton vampire!»

~Charles Baudelaire, from Les Fleurs du Mal~

Dawn Pisturino

October 17, 2022

8 Comments »

Honey – A Poem

Honey

by Dawn Pisturino

Honey drips with sweet sensation from her vampire lips,

And the naked round bosom swells with invitation;

Chick is not impressed though his loins beg urgently,

For Death lurks in those baby blue eyes,

And Chick is not prepared to die

For the satisfaction of his loins.

Suddenly the man who bedded a thousand

Is a man with feelings and a sense of pride.

His eyes see new visions in the morning sun.

Life, for him, is more than an elongated erection.

The big word looms in his brain: RELATIONSHIP.

He surveys the choice of women as a connoisseur,

Checking dates and labels, going for the blue ribbon prize.

He awakes alone most mornings now,

But once in a while, in the shadows of night,

A sweet sensation of honey-dew lips caresses his ears,

And Chick is pleasantly surprised:

The woman has a brain.

March 3, 1988; October 14, 2022

Published in The National Poetry Anthology, 1988

Copyright 1988-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

38 Comments »

Cat and Ghost Game

It was strange

The way the candle light

Seemed to bounce across the ceiling,

In leaps and bounds,

Like a playful poltergeist

Putting on a show.

In the background,

Where we sat,

The eerie black shadows

Seemed to lie in wait,

Like a big black cat,

Ready to pounce

At any moment

On the poor elusive spirit.

We waited anxiously on the sofa,

A silent audience,

And watched the cat and ghost

Game before us.

The cat lay still before the dancing ghost,

Licked its lips as it watched its prey

Dance closer and closer to Death,

Raised its haunches, flicked its tail,

And with one subtle gust of breath,

Pounced suddenly and completely

Atop the overconfident ghost,

Extinguishing it forever.

We smiled, then closed our lips, drew close,

And pressed them hard together

Beneath the warm black darkness

Which covered us, like a blanket.

Alone at last, we sniffed

The lingering odor of scented wax

And began a new game, called love.

1980

Dawn Pisturino

October 12, 2022

Copyright 1980-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

21 Comments »

“Melissa and the Angels” on Spillwords

I’m pleased and proud to announce that my poem, “Melissa and the Angels,” has been published today on Spillwords. I want to thank Dagmara K. and her wonderful staff for publishing it. I chose to use an unusual rhyming pattern and some words that are difficult to rhyme. It was these difficult words that shaped the story.

Melissa and the Angels

by Dawn Pisturino

Melissa, in a tattered dress,
Came slowly down the lane,
A wicker basket on her arm,
Fresh eggs and butter from the farm,
Her tresses in a tangled mess,
Barefoot, and limping with the pain. . .

Please visit Spillwords here http://www.spillwords.com/melissa-and-the-angels/ to read the rest of the poem. If you like it, please like it on both Spillwords (the little heart at the top of the post) and my blog. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your visits and your support.

A big THANK YOU! from the bottom of my heart.

Dawn Pisturino

August 22, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

41 Comments »

Jennifer’s Jar – A Short Story

(Photo from The Cary Company, http://www.thecarycompany.com)

Jennifer’s Jar

by Dawn Pisturino

On the morning of her tenth birthday, Jennifer received the strangest gift she had ever seen – a large glass jar.

It looks like a mayonnaise jar, Jennifer thought. But why did someone – or something – send it to her?

When she unscrewed the lid and peered inside, she saw nothing at all. Sniffing it produced no odor. The inside of the jar was perfectly dry. She shook it, rolled it, and turned it upside-down. Nothing happened.

All in all, it was an ordinary glass jar with no label on the front or printing on the lid. So, she decided to use it.

“I’ll fill it with water and add blue food coloring,” Jennifer said. “Some plastic fish would look nice. I’ll make an aquarium!”

But when she tried to pour water into the jar, the water wouldn’t go in! It spilled all over the countertop. She used a whole roll of paper towels cleaning it up. And the jar was still empty.

“I’ll fill it with marbles,” Jennifer decided.

She found her brother’s big bag of marbles and tried to pour them into the jar. But the marbles wouldn’t go in! They scattered all over the kitchen floor. It took twenty minutes to find all those marbles and refill the marble bag. And the jar was still empty.

“Oh, well,” Jennifer sighed. “Bobby would probably be mad anyway.”

Sand! How about sand?

For Christmas, Jennifer had received a craft kit filled with different types of colored sand. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to use it.

Using one of her mother’s kitchen funnels, she tried to pour pink sand into the jar. But the sand wouldn’t go in! It spilled, like pink sugar, all over the countertop. She cleaned it up with a wet dishcloth. And the jar was still empty.

Frustrated, Jennifer threw the dishcloth into the sink. “What am I going to do with an empty glass jar that won’t fill? I may as well throw it away.”

She tossed it into the trashcan, but lo and behold, here it came, bouncing out of the trashcan and into her hands again!

Terrified, Jennifer threw the jar onto the floor, smashing it into a million pieces.

A loud belching noise filled the air, and a small cloud of stinky black smoke rose up from the pieces of glass. “Ugh! Smells like a big fart!” Jennifer cried, pinching her nose. “Smells like Sissy’s poopy diapers! No wonder the jar wouldn’t fill!” As the cloud rose, it grew larger and larger until it was nearly as big as Jennifer herself.

“I’m out of here!” Jennifer yelled as she ran for the front door. But the big, stinky, black cloud followed her. She raced into the front yard, where a gust of wind caught the big, black cloud and spirited it away.

Relieved, Jennifer returned to the kitchen just in time to hear her mother say, “Jennifer, you’re in big trouble this time!”

Dawn Pisturino

2012; May 4, 2022

Copyright 2012-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

33 Comments »

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

A Story of Sibling Rivalry and Bullying Based on a Cuban Folktale

by Dawn Pisturino

A long time ago, Sun and Moon lived in a deep, dark cave on an island in the Caribbean Sea. 

Sun could not bear to live in such claustrophobic quarters. Day and night he paced the floor, grumbling and complaining, until one morning he said to Moon: “Sister, this cave is too small, and our light is too bright. It’s blinding both of us! You’re smaller and weaker than I am. You must leave and find a new home.”

“Me!” Moon retorted, stamping her tiny silver feet. “This cave belongs to both of us. Since you’re so unhappy, you move out!”

Sun said no more. He paced back and forth, wringing his hands until they were raw. Glimpsing his reflection in the mirror he shrieked, “Look what you’ve done to me! My face is breaking out with sunspots!”

“What do I care,” Moon responded. “I’m not leaving, and that’s final.”

Enraged, Sun loomed over Moon, his face growing redder and hotter until bright orange flames shot from his fingers and toes and the ends of his hair.

“Stop it, Sun!” Moon cried, shielding her face with her arms. “You’re scorching me with your hot flares!”

Moon waxed and waned with terror, moaning in pain, until Sun grabbed her silver locks and threw her out of the cave. “And never come back again!” he roared.

Leaning against a banana tree, Moon wept until her full, shiny face shrank to a thin silver crescent.

Air, grieved by Moon’s distress, wrapped the pale, weak maiden in her arms and carried her into the sky above. “You’ll be safe here,” she reassured Moon. “The stars won’t mind sharing a little space with you.”

But Moon, ashamed of her scorched face, hid behind a passing cloud.

The stars welcomed Moon and tried to make friends with her. Gradually, Moon’s scorched face healed, and she peered out from behind the cloud. She revealed more and more of her radiant face until it lit up the sky with soft, silvery light.

Sun burned with jealousy when he heard about his sister’s spacious new home. “I’ll show her!” he fumed; and leaped into the air. 

Blanching with fear, Moon shielded her face from Sun’s blazing wrath and raced across the sky until she disappeared from view.

Sun proudly took her place, filling the sky with so much brilliant fire the stars covered their eyes and ran away.

One evening, feeling bereft, Sun left the sky to search the cave where he and Moon had once lived together. As he approached the entrance, Moon suddenly appeared. Overcome by remorse, Sun pleaded with her to return with him to the sky. “There’s plenty of room for both of us,” he said.

But Moon could not forget her brother’s bad behavior. “I hate you!” she shouted. “You’re nothing but a big bully! I could never live with you again!” And so saying, she leaped into the air, leaving Sun standing all alone at the mouth of the cave.

Dawn Pisturino

2012; March 22, 2022

Copyright 2012-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.      





18 Comments »

The Magical World of Lord Dunsany

The King of Elfland’s Daughter is one of Lord Dunsany’s most popular books. Written in 1924, the book is a clear forerunner of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. I recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy fiction.

Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett (try saying that real fast three times) was an Irish aristocrat who inherited the title of 18th Baron Dunsany in 1899. He lived in Dunsany Castle in County Meath, Northern Ireland and married the daughter of the 7th Earl of Jersey, Lady Beatrice Child-Villiers. The couple had one son who went on to inherit the title and the castle.

A close friend of William Butler Yeats and Rudyard Kipling, Dunsany became a prolific writer, producing a large opus of poetry, plays, short stories, and novels based on Irish folklore and mythology. He was part of the late 19th century “Celtic Revival” started by Yeats. Other influential contemporaries included Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) and Kenneth Grahame (Wind in the Willows).

In America, he was dubbed “America’s Favorite Peer” because his plays were in great demand in New York City. At one point, he allegedly had five plays running simultaneously on Broadway.

Dunsany was a soldier who fought in the Boer War, World War I, and the 1916 Irish uprising. During World War II, he served in the Home Guard.

Although J.R.R. Tolkien is regarded as the father of fantasy fiction, Dunsany’s style and imagination had a profound effect on all the prominent fantasy writers of his day, including Tolkien, Lewis, and H.P. Lovecraft. His influence has extended to modern fantasy writers such as British author Neil Gaiman.

Dunsany’s stories have been described by other writers as magical, ethereal, dream-like, and surreal. Writing in long-hand with a feathered quill pen, his intuitive imagination wandered beyond the boundaries of intellect to produce stories in magical and poetic prose which capture the heart and imagination of discerning readers.

As the world evolved technologically around him, one of Lord Dunsany’s favorite themes was the threat of science to the Other World. He ventured into sci fi with The Last Revolution, which explored what would happen if machines turned against their human inventors (foreshadowing The Terminator).

Lord Dunsany died of appendicitis on October 25, 1957.

A Poem to Lord Dunsany

By Irish Poet Francis Ledwidge

TO LORD DUNSANY

(ON HIS RETURN FROM EAST AFRICA)


For you I knit these lines, and on their ends
Hang little tossing bells to ring you home.
The music is all cracked, and Poesy tends
To richer blooms than mine; but you who roam
Thro’ coloured gardens of the highest muse,
And leave the door ajar sometimes that we
May steal small breathing things of reds and blues
And things of white sucked empty by the bee,
Will listen to this bunch of bells from me.

My cowslips ring you welcome to the land
Your muse brings honour to in many a tongue,
Not only that I long to clasp your hand,
But that you’re missed by poets who have sung
And viewed with doubt the music of their verse
All the long winter, for you love to bring
The true note in and say the wise thing terse,
And show what birds go lame upon a wing,
And where the weeds among the flowers do spring.

(Dunsany Castle, County Meath, Northern Ireland. Photo by Tim Wilson. http://www.dunsany.com)

Dawn Pisturino

March 16, 2022

Copyright 2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

10 Comments »

Killer Limericks

(Warwick Davis in Leprechaun, 1993)

KILLERS

A killer rampaging a town,

Ran into a carnival clown.

The clown drew a knife

And took that man’s life,

Then started a spree of his own!

July 16, 2011

~

THE WITCH AND THE BURGLAR

A witch riding home on her broom

Spied a burglar trashing her room.

“I’ll get you for this!” she said with a hiss.

His head was soon found in Khartoum.

July 17, 2011

~

AN UPPITY CAT

A cat who liked veggies and cheese,

Refused to eat mouse canapes.

“I just can’t abide that tough, hairy hide.

I’d rather eat onions and peas!”

July 16, 2011

~

LIZZIE BORDEN

When Lizzie got awfully mad,

She hacked up her stepmom and dad.

The ax at her feet, she giggled and bleat,

“Why am I so terribly bad!”

September 26, 2011

~

The Sorcerer from Beijing

A sorcerer born in Beijing,

Found a magical jade dragon ring.

It breathed out green smoke,

Transforming that bloke

To a blood-thirsty cannibal king!

July 14, 2011

~

LIZZIE BORDEN II

When Lizzie got awfully mad,

She hacked up her stepmom and Dad.

Amazed by the mess, she had to confess:

“What a rip-roaring party we had!”

September 27, 2011

~

The Sorcerer from Beijing II

A sorcerer born in Beijing,

Found a magical jade dragon ring.

It breathed out green fire, burning all his attire

Except for one shoe and stocking!

July 7, 2011

~

The Man in Galloway Bay II

A man lost in Galloway Bay,

Cried out in a very loud bray,

“I’m lost in the sea, someone please rescue me!

I’ve been swimming for more than a day!”

July 7, 2011

~

The Old Man from Brazil II

There was an old man from Brazil,

Who ate ‘til he made himself ill.

He gave up the ghost, said good-bye to his host,

And flew home to his house on the hill.

July 7, 2011

~

A Nasty Old Gnome

A nasty old gnome name o’ Bill

Liked to puncture old teeth with a drill.

He gathered some bones from the graveyard he owns,

But that skeleton wouldn’t sit still!

February 5, 2012

~

The Man in Galloway Bay III

A man lost in Galloway Bay,

Cried out in a very loud bray,

“I’m lost in the sea,

Someone please rescue me!

The fishermen think I’m filet!”

July 7, 2011

~

St. Patrick’s Day is coming!

All limericks by:

Dawn Pisturino

March 10, 2022

Copyright 2011-2022 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

30 Comments »

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