Words cannot express

a0002
with my mother and her favorite cousin. both now gone.

When I lost my mother tongue

I gave up my otherness

It was important to me, once,

I thought, to be different, to

Avoid  the chameleon cloak of

Conformity, the pull of belonging.

When I lost my native language,

I gave up the tribe to which I

Was born, where I belong is

Here, reflected in the speech

I now speak, the other forgotten,

Left behind in dim memory and

Recollections of a foreignness I

Once valued. Now I am native here.

This is where I belong, now

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Honestly? Honestly!

Charlie_Chaplin
By P.D Jankens – Fred Chess, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24974

via Daily Prompt: Confess

In an era of frankness (well not in the political arena or in our “civic” lives, but certainly in films), why do so many bio-pics present such a bowdlerized view of their subjects? Sanitizing and censoring the lives that the persons of interest led seems an unpardonable treatment.

It may be possible to excuse Hollywood for masking Lorenz Hart’s sexual inclinations in the 1948 film, Words and Music. But the times they are a-changin’ as Bob Dylan would put it. Shouldn’t we be more forthright about who Cole Porter really was in De-Lovely than we were in 1946 in Night and Day? The Kevin Klein version from 2004 hints only slightly at the double life Porter had.

The facts of a person’s life may not be as straightforward or as simply depicted as we’d like to think. Allowing for artistic license and interpretation as well as for the p.o.v. of the auteur, the life on the screen cannot replicate the life as it was lived.

http://www.imdb.com/videoplayer/vi4214030361

The movie about Sylvia Plath’s relationship with Ted Hughes, Sylvia (2003) is based on a collection of his poems. To the survivor belongs the turn of the tale. Even the esteemable Richard Attenborough while harnessing the talents of the superb Robert Downey, Jr. misses the mark in revealing Chaplin to his audience. While I will confess to having it liked it, I agree that the movie underplays the dramas inherent in Charlie Chaplin’s rich and controversial life.

http://www.imdb.com/videoembed/vi4018602265

Precious

LookingSouthOverParkWaters
Quiet waters © 2015 Tamara Beck

via Daily Prompt: Cherish

Cherish life, appreciate love,

Worship, if you must, all that

Lies before you, the golden

Treasures of each lovely day

Cherish memories, appreciate

Everything you are given,

The moon, the river, time as it

Passes, like the waves from

Shore to shore, all this is

Precious, hold it close to

Your heart where all that

Is dear belongs, cherish the

Life you have, appreciate

Your love and hold it close

 

My establishing shot

Tamara_Beck_1
Lost in thought?

This would be my establishing shot

The one that sets the place and the

Character, facing Roosevelt Island,

Connecting to Queens, the lights on

The bridge twinkling in twilight,

Shadows, the river deep, dark and

Mysterious, waters moving slowly

With undercurrents, the river establishes

Without irony, without self-parody, as

Serious as the approaching night, shadows,

Not hiding, but revealing who we are, who

I am, my establishing shot

Quiet and peaceful

EastRiverWalk
Quiet waters, billowing clouds © 2014 Tamara Beck

Sitting as old men do

Holding court with

Memories, sharing both

Wisdom and nonsense

From a life fully lived

Yet far from complete

Never accepting blame or

Regrets, but sitting in

Tranquility, peaceful

Still yet like the river with

An undercurrent, there is

News mixing with opinions

All that need to be expressed

And heard. If you listen, you

Can also hear the waters

Whispering, a susurrus of current

Events, bubbling below the surfacewat

Do you remember this?

seagull59thbridge
Time and the river wait for noone. Photos © Tamara Beck.

I have expunged so much and so many from my recollection

When they come creeping in, it’s on ghost feet

Sometimes I welcome the newly remembered

Sometimes I dread the associations they bring me

Some memories amuse, others confuse, some

Simply disabuse me of my moral superiority, I

Have not served truth or justice, not always,

Just sometimes; glory is not mine to strut or savor,

Not always, just sometimes, Who were you? Who was I?

R.E.M.

Discomfited by thoughts both cruel

And urgent, ever aware that mortality

Runs through our veins, darkly, ever on

Edge, our cares not quietened by the deep

Still, instead we struggle in dreams, as if that

Beating heart might fail us, leave us stranded

Under a flickering neon sign, night time should

Be peaceful and sleepy, but our bodies a jangle

Of nerves, tangled like last year’s Christmas lights

Pulsating as if we had plugged them in, nerves

Muscles, blood racing to and fro a heart that is

Worried and worrying, aware and alert, eager

To thwart the end we foresee and ultimately dreadb462c-thend