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Writer and poet Illia Thompson teaches community writing classes in memoir writing and journaling through Monterey Peninsula College. She had her classes view Still Kicking then write their thoughts.


 

Documentary: Watching with Both Eyes

Over 100 years old,
tough and tiny
at her grand piano, she plays each one each day-
each irreplaceable piece that she knows by heart

Over 90,
slim and agile,
she seems to float over her abstract canvas
as she positions thick red and gold

Over 80,
compact and poised
before her flower arrangement, she considers
an adjustment, makes it then unmakes it

Over 70,
wondering and pondering,
I weep as I watch
these women on the screen

Tears of joy and amazement
for what can be
Tears of rage and anguish
for what cannot be

I weep with my left eye only
I try to keep the right eye dry and clear

Rita Sumers


 

ONE IS NOT ENOUGH, TWO IS TOO MUCH
Elsie Ogato, Ikebano Artist

Mathematics, that stern science
systematically places decimals
between whole numbers
yet we ask of ourselves
to measure full well
beginning at the beginning
and moving onward
one by one to the end
of the tabulation.

I like that between
one and two, as cited by a woman gifted
in the art of flower arrangement,
there exist pauses,
places of silence,
negative space a dancer might say,
and to live among emptiness
holds gentle importance,
an indication of proper passage.

The subtle shift from one to two,
barely more than a step,
may also be seen as path along the way
or a bench on which to rest
and view a pond where water lilies
create their own undulating array
without even considering the mathematics of it all.

Illia Thompson, October 2006


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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