This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Friends remember The Klute, aka Bernard Schober (1973-2022)

The Klute, aka Bernard Joseph Schober
(Feb. 8, 1973-July 18, 2022)

Photo by David Jolkovski/Larson Newspapers

The Klute, aka Bernard Schober (Feb. 8, 1973-July 18, 2022), died following a hike on Monday, July 18. There is a new story at the bottom of this post if you want to read the specifics. If you don't, stop when I write about Klute's last public post.

Memorial SERViCES

It is with profound sadness that the family and friends of Bernard Joseph Schober announce his passing. Please find information on both his viewing and remembrance ceremonies below.

Green Acres Mortuary & Cemetery401 N Hayden RdScottsdale, AZ 85257

[Map]

Viewing CeremonySaturday, July 23, 20223pm-7pm
Green Acres Mortuary & Cemetery
Main Building.

Celebration of LifeSaturday, August 13, 20224pm-8pm
Green Acres Mortuary & Cemetery
In the chapel
First hour dedicationFood and drinks available

Aug, 12, 2022
Hi everyone-
This is Bob. Thank you for your patience as we worked through the details to be able to webcast the Celebration of Life for Bernard. The event is tomorrow [Saturday, Aug. 13], and the details of time and place are listed on his website, theKlute.com.
This event will be live-streamed on Facebook, via this official page, The Klute, located at: https://www.facebook.com/TheKlute
While the service begins at 4pm, we will initiate the stream at 3:45 MST (or Pacific Time), or as close to it as we can. Please know that during the stream:
- We will not be able to respond to comments, and comments will not be shared with the live audience.
- Quality may suffer based on Internet availability. While we have secured an exclusive hotspot for access to stream with, it is still a wireless connection, and subject to the limitations of such.
Thank you all for the outreach to make sure that you had a way to be a part of this event. Should you have any questions, please feel free to DM Bob Nelson or message on The Klute's Page.

In the meantime, I process my grief I suppose the way any newspaperman does, by publishing the words and photos and stories of others so that you, dear readers, can use your own wisdom to weigh the measure of a man. I don't know how else to act. I will write about my feelings is a later post; I worked on this for the last 7 hours. This is still too fresh.

My wife Laura holding one of our oldest daughter's favorite stuffed animals. Athena loves sharks and loved when Klute would talk to her about them when visiting our house.

The last time I saw Klute in person was May 26 just after we brought our newborn twins home from the hospital. Klute performed in Sedona and was heading home when I begged him to turn around and pop in to see Athena because she had gotten all of her sharks ready to show off.
He visited and made a little 3-year-old girl feel very special.


I'll just say this:

I knew Klute 22 years. He helped me grieve the death of Christopher Lane when I could not grieve with anyone else. He was a slam rival and ally (the two are simultaneous in our sport), was groomsman at my bachelor party and wedding and one of my best friends. We talked politics and life in person and online and I valued his counsel in all things. 
Klute was a good man. 
I loved him as a brother.
I mourn him now.



See what all his others friends have to say:


Jessica Ballantyne-Keller

My best friend passed yesterday. 
I loved Bernard Schober like he was my family. 
He was my family. 
I cherished his friendship so much. 
He saved my life literally three times. 
I am currently completely lost after finding out this morning.
In lieu of flowers please donate to https://sharkangels.org

Bernard Schober was my best friend. 
I don’t just mean he was my best friend because we were like family,
I also mean he was the best person who was also my closest friend. 
I keep looking at his page, because I’m amazed at all the good Bernard did. I watch in real time as another story rolls in, how good of a human he was. 
To be honest, I always knew he was a good person. Seeing it posted in real time from hundreds of people is a completely different story and I didn’t fathom on any level how amazing of a human my best friend really was. 
Grief is selfish. 
Grief says he was mine to mourn on a level that I didn’t think anyone else deserved to. 
But that just isn’t true because everyone lost him,
And to think of all the good he was going to do after all the good he had already done is just mind blowing and I can’t possibly hold all of that to myself. 
It’s an impossible feat. 
He was an impossible feat. 
From open heart surgeries to diving with sharks to writing his poetry. 
There are some of you out there who have told me how much this man respected and loved me. 
I know he did. Even on days I didn’t deserve it. 
But I also know how many of you he loved and respected. And exactly the reasons why. 
It’s no less than every single one of you who has a Klute story. I’m dead serious. 
He saw the good in everyone. 
He was sometimes the only good thing about me. 
I walked a little taller when I was with Klute. 
I sent him my poetry to go over, and he sent me his. 
I could never be the poet he was because he could arrange words like houses of cards.  I always felt like I was grabbing bingo balls from a cage. 
I beat him one time at slam. One time. 
I rode that victory for two weeks straight. And he let me. He made it to almost every single one of the birthday parties I had for as long as I knew him. 
We sang karaoke together. 
He would call me while he was visiting his dad in Florida while walking home from the bars, would miss his turn by two streets and somehow would still navigate home ok. 
We had a mutual hatred of United Airlines. 
And then there was the one time we flew to Texas together for Grand Slam on United, and I’m pretty sure that’s the only time I can remember we didn’t run into problems. 
I say Bernard saved my life three times. 
And on three seperate occasions he absolutely did. It’s not a figure of speech. 
He loved me unconditionally, just like he did with everyone in his inner circle. 
To say I miss him is a complete understatement. It’s the pain that keeps on giving. I’ve said before and I’ll say again it feels like I’ve lost a limb. 
I have gone to send him a text no less than a thousand times over the last two days and that’s the kind of pain that breaks a person. 
But I’m trying to remain steadfast. 
He wouldn’t have left if he didn’t think we couldn’t handle it. 
So I’m handling this. 
And because of him and his influence, I have so many of you to help lift up and who are helping lift me up. 
I will never forgive Bernard for making me make friends. 
Also he would have laughed at that. 
I have said a few times over the last few days that words have become very hard for me. And they still are. But I needed all of this to get out while I still had them rumbling around in my brain. 
I love you, Bernard.

Partners Bernard Schober and Teresa Newkirk

Lauren Perry

For the first two minutes of my morning when I woke up today Klute, it’s as if it never happened. As if the phone call at 2:29pm on July 18th hadn't occurred at all and it had just been a really awful dream, as so many nightmares tend to be. I remember this time years ago, when you dramatically called me and said “Lauren! I had a dream I was walking along the River Sphinx! And the toll man asked for my coins so I pulled them from my eyelids.” 
My birthday 2021. He made everything so much more special!

It's as if our entire friendship, you have been preparing me for this day and even still, I feel as if I am on stage with a blank piece of paper and my poem unmemorized. 

Classy tiki adventures at Captain's Cabin.

It still doesn't seem real; not hearing your voice again calling me through the phone, that you’ll never again stand in my doorway before we head to Captain's for tiki drinks with your newest tiki mug that is always better than mine. 
Tiki adventures: Cthulhu addition with his fancy new birthday tiki!

Where you will no doubt regale us with videos of the ocean of these beautiful sharks and massive stingrays from your adventures scuba diving in sunken, lost cities. We never got to go together. There’s so much we’ll never do again. I swear that someday you were going to tell me you had grown gills; it seems almost silly now I think about that now, but I was so happy for you when you found the ocean and fully embraced it. You deserved so much to be happy, you had so much love in your heart and you gave it without wanting or needing anything in return! 
Favorite memory, back in 2010. We'd just crushed a duet on stage and got a perfect 50 at the SLC Utah Arts Festival. We were clearly the coolest kids in school!

Your friendship was the best gift I could have ever received while still feeling undeserving of. To say you are my best friend is the understatement of the century, you are my other half! The Giles to my Buffy! I god damn love you so much more than I ever felt I could ever love another person and I'm so very appreciative that I had almost 20 years of knowing you while being in awe of your achievements, you're unending strength to push through challenges that would have crippled a normal person. To always know the right thing to say at the right moment. How did you always do that? You used to joke that I'd save your life at least two or three times but really, you saved mine.
Klute's birthday 2022. He was so happy and had such a great night!!!!

You never gave up on me or our friendship. In truth, I think we only truly ever fought a handful of times which is pretty great considering all those twelve-hour road trips, late night flights to Florida and poetry competitions, crammed together in overly priced hotels with the stresses of getting scored a perfect score on stage. 
Haunted house adventures 2021. We finally made it out of that blood corn maze after 30 minutes!


I'll never forget when you finally told me your real first name was Bernard or that you were actually from Illinois and let me think you were from Florida. Like who keeps that a secret?! You are so incredibly funny and only ever really messed with me a few times, but when you did it was really something! Like when you calmly said “oh yeah, my father is the zodiac killer” like it was nothing then just turned away to watch tv, letting it hang there casually in the air, and just let me sit there thinking your dad was actually the zodiac killer for thirty minutes then laughed at me for believing you! 
Dream team, killing it on stage 2013 at Copperstate with a duet.


Your sarcastic sense of humor was unmatched; a secret layer of your personality that you shared in the rarest of moments. You were so damn funny! You loved haunted houses but hated horror movies. Last year when we got lost in that corn maze when it was so bloody cold and had to have a clown walk us back to the front so we could go through the zombie house twice even though you hated zombies, but still waited 18 years to tell me because I love them. You believed that sharks were kind and gentle creatures so you saved clippings of newspaper articles about them in your journal. You wrote beautiful fun journal entries about food you’d tasted on your trips and were a phenomenal cook. You loved to dance but were very specific about to what kind of music. 
Nerd Slam, IWPS Flagstaff edition.

There are so many tiny details that make you up that I can't even begin to describe them all even as I think about every single one of them, every memory, every moment; I'm breathing through them, missing you. This is the longest we’ve ever gone without talking. All my life, I will cherish the time we had together, even as I wish there have been more. You are the true last king of Egypt. Klute, you’re dearest person close to my heart. Not a day will go by that I will not feel the absence of your presence. All my love.
نرجو أن تعيش إلى الأبد في حقل القصب. أفضل صديق لي. توأم روحي. لقد كنت جيدًا جدًا بالنسبة لهذا العالم.
May you live forever in the Field of Reeds. 
My best friend. 
My Soul Mate. 
You were too good for this world.
13th Floor Haunted House 2021. He jumped numerous times. It was awesome!

David Tabor

It is a thing. Most of us will remember “The Klute” in this way or some other variation being behind a microphone etc. Most of my time with him was spent with Bernard Schober if that makes any sense to anyone. 
I could probably say the same thing in some ways that most of you know “Tabor”. A larger than life version of myself that I present and manicure for others entertainment. It’s not that it is an bit per say, but it a cultivated part of my life.
Especially the last two years with the pandemic lingering. We moved our long standing Saturday coffee drinking to his backyard and was one of the few pillars of normalcy in my life left. That and work.
I feel like we’ll have something to commemorate at some point. It’s a tough call when you realized that you are probably that person who does this or should be a part of that. As another one who is in the “double income- no kids” club and also had a brush with mortality; I have wondered about who does what when I pass on.

Bill Campana

there is no way to ease into something as devastating as losing one who has been a part of your life for 22-years.  in a world gone haywire, Bernard Schober always made sense of the chaos.  he lived his life doing what he loved.  he won his final slam last week.  out with a bang.  he was the supreme traveling companion, soundboard for all incorrect comments, purveyor of good times, and always seemed to enjoy it when on saturday mornings during our 22-year coffee klatch he would freshen my coffee and i would say, "thanks, doll face."  we are all going to miss you, my friend.  the inner circle is going to spin out off balance for a long time.  word from teresa is while hiking on monday morning had a heart attack and dialed 911 on his cell phone.  doctors worked on him for an hour.  this is going to take some time to sink in.

The Klute and Marc Schaefer, dive buddies and partners in crime

"Awake"

by The Klute
(2015)
I swim through the Blue Eternal.
She feeds me.
Truth told, that's all I've ever cared about.
Her waters are an endless buffet.
Bring me a Harp seal, 
Tender mackrel,
Robust tuna!
From each meal to the next, I devour the seas 
One bite at a time.
At the top of the game,
Atop the food chain
Who's the Great White Shark.
Who's an eating machine to all the fishes.
They say that's shark's a bad mother...
Shut your mouth!

I *can't* shut my mouth.
If I do, I'll die.
Mother Ocean and I are tied together
Bound by the oxygen I take from her body.
Five gills fluttering as bloody flags in the briny breeze
Keep me alive and in your nightmares,
Chasing you through REM sleep,
Waking you up in a cold sweat, 
Your heart pounding so hard
I can hear it whisper to me as I ply through the shoals
Close to your shore-hugging homes,
Tickling my senses with promise and delight.

I envy you.
Wishing I could stop and drift away
Stop my constant forward motion.
I know other residents of the deep can do it.
I have felt the wings of stingrays pull covers of sand over their bodies
Suprised dreaming dolphins bobbing in the waves,
Watches eels slip into crevices and disappear.
It looks wonderful.
To be able to stop, feel the wave's embrace
Cradling me in her arms,
The only movement a gentle tidal dance. 

Dolphins always talk of dreaming.
When they close their eyes
They can let the currents carry them to places long forgotten,
To places never been.
They can swim with the dead that my kind took from them,
Or simply float to half-heard whale song from the unfathomable depths.
It looks and sounds wonderful,
But I can't stop, not even for a moment.
My life is a series of forward motions,
Punctuated by 
Dive,
     Speed up, 
              Surface,
ATTACK
Dive,
     Dive,
          Dive,
Keep moving forward
NEVER STOP,
Forward! Forward!
Surface, 
Attack, ATTACK, ATTACK!
Forward, forward, 
Never stop moving forward.

I am forever swimming towards death.
Mine, yours, theirs...
The line between such trivialities grows thinner
With each passing flick of my tail, each meal, every mate.
The hourglass will always be half-empty to someone 
Who can never stop to turn it over,
But sometimes I imagine what it would be like to stop.
If destiny wants me to keep moving,
Who am I to argue with destiny?
But I can slow myself down until I'm just... barely...
Moving.
      
I cannot close my eyes, 
So I let myself sink to where the light does not reach
My tail barely moves,
And I begin to think I know what it must be like
To live without perpetual motion.
So deep that the sounds of waves against rocks grows ever silent
I sink deeper,
              deeper,
                     deeper
Into the endless black of the infinite sea.
I feel my fins flutter gently and twitch
I begin to feel Mother Ocean embrace me
And it feels wonderful.
I cannot stop.
This is not what she created me to be.
Sometimes though, I think I know what dreaming is.
I do not need to stop,
I only need to slow down.
I only need to sleep. 

Laura Lacanette

Bernard Schober your time here was over too soon but you really lived the hell out of this life. I’m absolutely devastated for your family, your partner, and your many dear friends. 
Thank you for always being so kind and welcoming to an awkward newbie, for making space and encouraging others, for supporting the weird and offbeat without judgement. Your talent with poetry and comedy was something I looked up to and I feel honored to have been able to share space and get my ass kicked by you on stage. 
You always used your larger than life presence to bring people up. I’ll never forget when I performed a nerdy poem that bombed, only to look out into the crowd and see you and Lauren standing up cheering your heads off. I wish I could tell you how much you meant to me and how much you will be missed. 
I hope you’re somewhere swimming with sharks, winning all the slams, and pissing off online trolls. So long Klute, and thanks for all the fish.

Laura Lacanette, Russ Kazmierczak, the Klute and Lauren Perry at Phoenix Fan Fusion, or, 

Julie Elefante

Dear Klute,
Bernard Schober. I hate that you died because you were so damned good at living. My torso is a heavy fist, but it loosens its grip when I read all the eulogies collecting on your page and feel the love that you put out coming back in with the tides. The affirmation, the ebb and flow, is soothing. We grew up next to oceans on opposite ends of the country, but we always celebrated the kinship. When people are born and bred by the sea, it threads its silver hooks and fine white lines along their spines and sways them into sleep. In turn, people of the sea leave their lines in everyone they touch. What a wonderful net you wove through all of us, and how well you filled it. 
Here are stories, things I’m grateful for:
A lot of people have talked about their poetry friendships with you. You did all that for me, too. And even after I left slam behind, you always asked me if I was going to read whenever you saw me at poetry events. There’s something so validating when a well-known, well-loved writer tells you they want to hear your words, and you did that for a lot of us. Thank you for that.
Looking through my hard drive, looking for memories of you, I’ve found hundreds of documents—photos, art, and of course poems. All the edits, layouts, and final proofs for so many of your chapbooks and books from the last 17 years. I loved that you asked me to take care of these, partly because you knew I’ve always loved layouts and editing, and partly because you trusted me with it all. AND, for every book, I was guaranteed a delicious home-cooked meal, some fine drink, and an evening of cartoons and conversation. Thank you for giving me all these opportunities to let me express my own passions, for believing in me and trusting me with your own. 
For a few months, when you needed a place to stay, I offered you a room in a house I was renting. Thank you, Klute, for being one of those rare roommates who was easy to live with, for cleaning up after yourself and around the house, for paying your share of the rent and bills on time, for just adulting so well. Sorry you had to clean up that chicken bone in a sock; the previous roommate wasn’t so good.
At one point, I was struggling with money but too stubborn and proud to take handouts, so I was picking up side jobs here and there. You took me aside and told me you were looking for a sort of personal assistant. You’d find random chores and errands that I’m sure you were just making up—putting all your printed poems into a binders, sorting out a pile of stuff you said you wanted to list on eBay, stuff like that. You paid more than the work was worth, that you could’ve done yourself in far less time and much more efficiently. I told you I’d tried pawning stuff, and during one visit to my place, you asked if I still used my old bike from college. It was several years old, well-used, and banged up, but you said you’d been meaning to buy a bike and asked how much I originally paid for it, and that’s just about how much you gave me for it. I don’t know if you ever rode it, and I can’t imagine you pedaling along with your long black duster flapping behind you in the breeze. You said you were enjoying it, though. That made me feel better. Thank you for treating me with dignity and generosity in equal measure. 
So your body is gone, but your light is still with me, inspiring me with everything you accomplished while you were here and were still pushing to do, ever so intrepid. Thank you for your friendship and your part in making me a better version of myself, thank you for weaving me into your life and letting me weave you indelibly into mine. 
Love you, Klute,
-J

Saturday, July 16, 2022

"Another Planet" by B-Jam

B-Jam, aka Benjamin Gardea, performing "Another Planet" at The Rebel Lounge in Phoenix, AZ on May 24, 2022.

Ghost Poetry Show is committed to creating a community of writers from the greater Phoenix area (and beyond) to share their work on stage. We take pride in having poets that have never performed their work in front of anyone, all the way up to poets that have competed at the national level. No matter gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or age anyone can take the stage and compete in the three round poetry slam.

Friday, July 15, 2022

"You common cry of curs," Coriolanus, performed by Paul Mauch

Paul Mauch performs as Coriolanus, in "Coriolanus" Act III, Scene III. 
Gnaeus Marcius is a Roman general who earns the toponymic cognomen "Coriolanus" after his military feats besieging the Volscians at the town of Corioli in 493 BC. Following his success he seeks to be consul in 491 BC, two years after Coriolanus' victory over the Volscians, as Rome was recovering from a grain shortage. A significant quantity of grain was imported from Sicily, and the senate debated the manner in which it should be distributed to the commoners. Coriolanus advocated that the provision of grain should be dependent upon the reversal of the pro-plebeian political reforms arising from the First Secessio Plebis in 494 BC. The populace were incensed at Coriolanus' proposal, and the tribunes put him on trial. The senators argued for the acquittal of Coriolanus, or at the least a merciful sentence. Coriolanus refused to attend on the day of his trial, and he was convicted. 
Coriolanus makes this speech berating the plebians before fleeing to the Volsci in exile. 
There, he was received and treated kindly, and resided with the Volscian leader Attius Tullus Aufidius. Coriolanus and Aufidius led the Volscian army against Roman towns, colonies and allies. Roman colonists were expelled from Circeii. They then retook the formerly Volscian towns of Satricum, Longula, Pollusca and Corioli. Then the Volscian army took the Roman towns of Lavinium, Corbio, Vitellia, Trebia, Lavici and Pedum.
Coriolanus's mother Volumniam Coriolanus's wife Virgilia and their child, dissuade him from destroying Rome, urging him instead to clear his name and he signs a peace treaty on behalf of the Volscians. When he returns to the Volscian capital of Antium (Anzio), conspirators, organised by Aufidius, kill him for his betrayal.

"The Other Solos" are a series of Shakespeare monologues that deal with issues of identity, migration, power and exile, performed by actors whose mother tongue is not English. This project was developed in response to recent world events and the increasing sentiment against migration in the media and Western society.

from "Coriolanus," spoken by exiled Roman General Gnaeus Marcius Coriolanus

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

You common cry of curs! whose breath I hate
As reek o' the rotten fens, whose loves I prize
As the dead carcasses of unburied men
That do corrupt my air, I banish you;
And here remain with your uncertainty!
Let every feeble rumour shake your hearts!
Your enemies, with nodding of their plumes,
Fan you into despair! Have the power still
To banish your defenders; till at length
Your ignorance, which finds not till it feels,
Making not reservation of yourselves,
Still your own foes, deliver you as most
Abated captives to some nation
That won you without blows! Despising,
For you, the city, thus I turn my back:
There is a world elsewhere.

"If," by Rudyard Kipling, read by Sir Michael Caine

"If"
By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

"To Be or Not to Be," performed by Adrian Lester

Adrian Lester speaks Hamlet’s soliloquy from "Hamlet" Act III, scene 1, in which Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, reflects on mortality and considers taking his own life.

from "Hamlet," spoken by Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Where to find Sedona's four vortices/vortexes

 Being Sedona residents, we get asked about where the vortices / vortexes are all the time.

Here are the four. Some folks who will swindle tourists out of money will claim there are more only they know about but none of them are universally recognized as these four are. That said, they're pretty and offer nice vistas, but there is nothing inherently special about any of them other that what people claim without evidence that they feel.

Sedona Airport Vortex (on the outcroping to the northeast)

Bell Rock Vortex, the exact location is -- unsurprisingly -- unclear.

Boynton Canyon Vortex, overlooks Enchantment Resort

Cathedral Rock Vortex, like the Bell Rock Vortex, the exact location is unsurprisingly unclear.


Sunday, May 15, 2022

"These are the forgeries of jealous" performed by Ayesha Dharker

 
Ayesha Dharker plays Titania, the queen of the fairies in "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." Titania has quarrelled with Oberon, king of the fairies. As the pair have control over the weather, their argument leads to a vision of nature’s chaos.

from "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," spoken by Titania, Queen of the Fairies

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

These are the forgeries of jealousy:
And never, since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
By paved fountain or by rushy brook,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents:
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrion flock;
The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud,
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green
For lack of tread are undistinguishable:
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest:
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Far in the fresh lap of the crimson rose,
And on old Hiems' thin and icy crown
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set: the spring, the summer,
The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which:
And this same progeny of evils comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original. 

Friday, May 6, 2022

Sedona Poetry Slam hosts final slam of season Saturday, May 14, at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre


The Sedona Poetry Slam has reached the final slam of the season before the summer break Saturday, May 14. Performance poets will bring high-energy, competitive spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m.

If you have told your friends you were going to attend a poetry slam this year, but haven't yet, this is your last chance to see what you've been anticipating.

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. Anyone can sign up to compete in the slam for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.


Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. Poets come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a "slam" poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Mary D. Fisher Theatre is located at 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona. Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The Sedona Poetry Slam will return for its 14th season the fall.


The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Email foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up early to compete or by the Friday before the slam or at the door the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive.

For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.com or foxthepoet.blogspot.com.


What is Poetry Slam?

Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984 by Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets' contents and performances.


Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmons' Def Poets" on HBO.

Sedona has sent four-poet teams to represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C., Boston, Cambridge, Mass., Oakland, Calif., Decatur, Ga., Denver and Chicago. 

Friday, April 15, 2022

"You call me misbeliever" performed by Konstantinos Kavakiotis

 
Konstantinos Kavakiotis speaks Shylock’s lines from "The Merchant of Venice," Act I, Scene 3, in which the moneylender responds to a request for a loan by reminding his adversary, Antonio, of the times he has insulted him and explains to one of his clients why racism is not good for business.
 
"The Other Solos" are a series of Shakespeare monologues that deal with issues of identity, migration, power and exile, performed by actors whose mother tongue is not English. This project was developed in response to recent world events and the increasing sentiment against migration in the media and Western society.

from "The Merchant of Venice," spoken by Shylock

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances:
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, 
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. 
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, 
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears you need my help:
Go to, then; you come to me, and you say
'Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold: moneys is your suit
What should I say to you? Should I not say
'Hath a dog money? is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this; 
'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys'?

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Langston Hughes recites "The Weary Blues"

Poet Langston Hughes recites his poem, "The Weary Blues" (1925) to jazz accompaniment with the Doug Parker Band on the CBUT (CBC Vancouver) program "The 7 O'Clock Show" in 1958. 
Host Bob Quintrell introduces the performance.

"The Weary Blues"


BY LANGSTON HUGHES

Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Rocking back and forth to a mellow croon,
I heard a Negro play.
Down on Lenox Avenue the other night
By the pale dull pallor of an old gas light
He did a lazy sway. . . .
He did a lazy sway. . . .
To the tune o’ those Weary Blues.
With his ebony hands on each ivory key
He made that poor piano moan with melody.
O Blues!
Swaying to and fro on his rickety stool
He played that sad raggy tune like a musical fool.
Sweet Blues!
Coming from a black man’s soul.
O Blues!
In a deep song voice with a melancholy tone
I heard that Negro sing, that old piano moan—
“Ain’t got nobody in all this world,
Ain’t got nobody but ma self.
I’s gwine to quit ma frownin’
And put ma troubles on the shelf.”

Thump, thump, thump, went his foot on the floor.
He played a few chords then he sang some more—
“I got the Weary Blues
And I can’t be satisfied.
Got the Weary Blues
And can’t be satisfied—
I ain’t happy no mo’
And I wish that I had died.”
And far into the night he crooned that tune.
The stars went out and so did the moon.
The singer stopped playing and went to bed
While the Weary Blues echoed through his head.
He slept like a rock or a man that’s dead.

from The Collected Works of Langston Hughes.


Friday, March 18, 2022

Spoken word artists invited to compete at Sedona Poetry Slam on Saturday, April 23

The penultimate installment of a series is often one the best, and that will be the case as the Sedona Poetry Slam returns for its penultimate slam of the season Saturday, April 23.

Performance poets will bring high-energy, competitive spoken word to the Mary D. Fisher Theatre starting at 7:30 p.m. 

A poetry slam is like a series of high-energy, three-minute one-person plays, judged by the audience. 

Anyone Can Compete

Anyone can sign up to compete in the slam for the $75 grand prize and $25 second-place prize. To compete in the slam, poets will need three original poems, each lasting no longer than three minutes. No props, costumes nor musical accompaniment are permitted. The poets are judged Olympics-style by five members of the audience selected at random at the beginning of the slam.

Slam poetry is an art form that allows written page poets to share their work alongside theatrical performers, hip-hop artists and lyricists. Poets come from as far away as Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, competing against adult poets from Sedona and Cottonwood, college poets from Northern Arizona University and youth poets from Sedona Red Rock High School. All types of poetry are welcome on the stage, from street-wise hip-hop and narrative performance poems, to political rants and introspective confessionals. Any poem is a "slam" poem if performed in a competition. All poets get three minutes per round to entertain and inspire the audience with their creativity.

Mary D. Fisher Theatre is located at 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A-3, in West Sedona. Tickets are $12. For tickets, call 282-1177 or visit SedonaFilmFestival.org.

The final poetry slam of the season will be held Saturday, May 14.

The prize money is funded in part by a donation from Verde Valley poetry supporters Jeanne and Jim Freeland.

Email foxthepoet@yahoo.com to sign up early to compete or by the Friday before the slam or at the door the day of the slam. Poets who want to compete should purchase a ticket in case the roster is filled before they arrive. 

For more information, visit sedonafilmfestival.com or foxthepoet.blogspot.com.

What is Poetry Slam? 

Founded at the Green Mill Tavern in Chicago in 1984 by Marc Smith, poetry slam is a competitive artistic sport designed to get people who would otherwise never go to a poetry reading excited about the art form when it becomes a high-energy competition. Poetry slams are judged by five randomly chosen members of the audience who assign numerical value to individual poets' contents and performances.

Poetry slam has become an international artistic sport, with more than 100 major poetry slams in the United States, Canada, Australia and Western Europe. Slam poets have opened at the Winter Olympics, performed at the White House and at the United Nations General Assembly and were featured on "Russell Simmon's Def Poets" on HBO.

Sedona has sent four-poet teams to represent the city at the National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, N.C., Boston, Cambridge, Mass., Oakland, Calif., Decatur, Ga., Denver and Chicago.




Tuesday, March 15, 2022

"Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears" performed by Damien Lewis


Damian Lewis performs Antony’s lines from Act III, Scene 2 of Julius Caesar. Marc Antony has been granted permission to speak at Caesar’s funeral so long as he does not implicate the conspirators in his death, but he skillfully turns the crowd against them.

from "Julius Caesar," spoken by Marc Antony

BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Artemis Leia Aurora Claire River Song Éowyn Fox Graham's House Crest

 This is the official House Crest of our daughter, Artemis Leia Aurora Claire River Song Éowyn Fox Graham:


All nine of her names are represented:

Artemis:

Artemis ("Ἄρτεμις" in Greek) is the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon and chastity.

Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities, and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology regarding the birth of Artemis and Apollo, her twin brother. However, in terms of parentage, all accounts agree that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo. 

In some sources, she is born at the same time as Apollo, in others, earlier or later.

"Leto bore Apollo and Artemis, delighting in arrows,
Both of lovely shape like none of the heavenly gods,
As she joined in love to the Aegis-bearing ruler."
— Hesiod, Theogony, lines 918–920 (written in the 7th century BCE)

Artemis, the goddess of forests and hills, was worshipped throughout ancient Greece. Her best known cults were on her birthplace island of Delos, in Attica at Brauron and Mounikhia near Piraeus, and in Sparta. She was often depicted in paintings and statues in a forest setting, carrying a bow and arrows and accompanied by a hind.

The ancient Spartans used to sacrifice to her as one of their patron goddesses before starting a new military campaign.

According to one of the Homeric Hymns to Artemis, she had a golden bow and arrows, as her epithet was Khryselakatos ("she of the golden shaft") and Iokheira ("showered by arrows"). The arrows of Artemis could also bring sudden death and disease to girls and women. Artemis got her bow and arrow for the first time from the Cyclopes, as the one she asked from her father. The bow of Artemis also became the witness of Callisto's oath of her virginity.

Deer were the only animals held sacred to Artemis herself. On seeing a deer larger than a bull with horns shining, she fell in love with these creatures and held them sacred. Deer were also the first animals she captured. She caught five golden horned deer and harnessed them to her chariot. The third labour of Heracles, commanded by Eurystheus, consisted of catching the Cerynitian Hind alive. Heracles begged Artemis for forgiveness and promised to return it alive. Artemis forgave him but targeted Eurystheus for her wrath.

Epithets
  • As Aeginaea, she was worshipped in Sparta; the name means either huntress of chamois, or the wielder of the javelin (αἰγανέα).
  • In Sparta, Artemis Lygodesma was worshipped. This epithet means "willow-bound" from the Greek lygos and desmos. The willow tree appears in several ancient Greek myths and rituals. According to Pausanias, a statue of Artemis was found by the brothers Astrabacus and Alopecus under a bush of willows, by which it was surrounded in such a manner that it stood upright.
  • As Artemis Orthia (Ὀρθία, "upright") and was common to the four villages originally constituting Sparta: Limnai, in which it is situated, Pitana, Kynosoura, and Mesoa.
  • In Athens she was worshipped under the epithet Aristo ("the best").
  • Also in Athens, she was worshipped as Aristoboule, "the best adviser".
  • As Artemis Isora also known as Isoria or Issoria, in the temple at the Issorium near lounge of the Crotani (the body of troops named the Pitanatae) near Pitane, Sparta. Pausanias mentions that although the locals refer to her as Artemis Isora, he says "They surname her also Lady of the Lake, though she is not really Artemis hut Britomartis of Crete."
  • She was worshipped at Naupactus as Aetole; in her temple in that town, there was a statue of white marble representing her throwing a javelin. This "Aetolian Artemis" would not have been introduced at Naupactus, anciently a place of Ozolian Locris, until it was awarded to the Aetolians by Philip II of Macedon. Strabo records another precinct of "Aetolian Artemos" at the head of the Adriatic. As Agoraea she was the protector of the agora.
  • As Agrotera, she was especially associated as the patron goddess of hunters. In Athens Artemis was often associated with the local Aeginian goddess, Aphaea. As Potnia Theron, she was the patron of wild animals; Homer used this title. As Kourotrophos, she was the nurse of youths. As Locheia, she was the goddess of childbirth and midwives.
  • She was sometimes known as Cynthia, from her birthplace on Mount Cynthus on Delos, or Amarynthia from a festival in her honor originally held at Amarynthus in Euboea.
  • She was sometimes identified by the name Phoebe, the feminine form of her brother Apollo's solar epithet Phoebus.
  • Alphaea, Alpheaea, or Alpheiusa (Gr. Ἀλφαῖα, Ἀλφεαία, or Ἀλφειοῦσα) was an epithet that Artemis derived from the river god Alpheius, who was said to have been in love with her. It was under this name that she was worshipped at Letrini in Elis and in Ortygia. Artemis Alphaea was associated with the wearing of masks, largely because of the legend that while fleeing the advances of Alpheius, she and her nymphs escaped him by covering their faces.
  • As Artemis Anaitis, the 'Persian Artemis' was identified with Anahita. As Apanchomene, she was worshipped as a hanged goddess.
  • She was also worshiped as Artemis Tauropolos, variously interpreted as "worshipped at Tauris", "pulled by a yoke of bulls", or "hunting bull goddess". A statue of Artemis "Tauropolos" in her temple at Brauron in Attica was supposed to have been brought from the Taurians by Iphigenia. Tauropolia was also a festival of Artemis in Athens. There was a Tauropolion, a temple in a temenos sacred to Artemis Tauropolos, in the north Aegean island of Doliche (Ikaria). There is a Temple to Artemis Tauropolos located on the eastern shore of Attica, in the modern town of Artemida (Loutsa). An aspect of the Taurian Artemis was also worshipped as Aricina.
  • At Castabala in Cilicia there was a sanctuary of Artemis Perasia. Strabo wrote that: "some tell us over and over the same story of Orestes and Tauropolos, asserting that she was called Perasian because she was brought from the other side."
  • Pausanias at the Description of Greece writes that near Pyrrhichus, there was a sanctuary of Artemis called Astrateias, with an image of the goddess said to have been dedicated by the Amazons. He also wrote that at Pheneus there was a sanctuary of Artemis, which the legend said that it was founded by Odysseus when he lost his mares and when he traversed Greece in search of them, he found them on this site. For this the goddess was called Heurippa), meaning horse finder.
  • One of the epithets of Artemis was Chitone. Ancient writers believed that the epithet derived from the chiton that the goddess was wearing as a huntress or from the clothes in which newborn infants were dressed being sacred to her or from the Attic village of Chitone.[84] Syracusans had a dance sacred to the Chitone Artemis. At the Miletus there was a sanctuary of Artemis Chitone and was one of the oldest sanctuaries in the city.
  • The epithet Leucophryne, derived from the city of Leucophrys. At the Magnesia on the Maeander there was a sanctuary dedicated to her. In addition, the sons of Themistocles dedicated a statue to her at the Acropolis of Athens, because Themistocles had once ruled the Magnesia. Bathycles of Magnesia dedicated a statue of her at Amyclae.

Artemis Program and the Orion Spacecraft

As Odysseus and Artemis grow up, they'll watch the Artemis program, whose primary goal is to return humans to the Moon, specifically the lunar south pole, by 2025. It has 11 launches planned between 2022 and 2033 with Artemis III landing two people on the Moon in 2025.

The Artemis Program will launch the Orion spacecraft to the moon, thus linking Artemis Leia Aurora Claire River Song Éowyn Fox Graham to her twin brother Odysseus Luke Saturn Langston Lee Calvin Orion Fox Graham.

Artemis I Mission Patch

The Artemis program began in December 2017 as the reorganization and continuation of successive efforts to revitalize the U.S. space program since 2009. Its stated short-term goal is landing the first woman on the Moon; mid-term objectives include establishing an international expedition team and a sustainable human presence on the Moon. Long-term objectives are laying the foundations for the extraction of lunar resources, and eventually, make crewed missions to Mars and beyond feasible
The Orion Spacecraft in the Artemis I mission





Artemis as an archer, mid-draw, mid-leap with a bow doubling as a crescent moon, with a hind accompanying her:

Leia:

Princess Leia Skywalker Organa Solo, from Star Wars, is a Force-sensitive political and military leader who served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Imperial Era and the New Republic and Resistance in the subsequent New Republic Era, portrayed in films by Carrie Fisher. Introduced in the original "Star Wars" film in 1977, Leia is princess of the planet Alderaan, a member of the Imperial Senate and an agent of the Rebel Alliance. She thwarts Sith lord Darth Vader -- later revealed to be her father, the fallen Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker -- and helps bring about the destruction of the Empire's cataclysmic superweapon, the Death Star. In "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980), Leia commands the Rebel base on Hoth, evades Vader as she falls in love with the smuggler Han Solo. In "Return of the Jedi" (1983), Leia helps in the operation to rescue Han from the crime lord Jabba the Hutt and is revealed to be Vader's daughter and the twin sister of Luke Skywalker. She and Solo lead the ground forces on the forest moon of Endor to shut down the shield generator protecting the second Death Star under construction so the Rebel navy could strike its power core and destroy it.

Born in 19 BBY as Leia Amidala Skywalker, she was the biological offspring of the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Senator Padmé Amidala of Naboo. Her birth occurred on Polis Massa, an obscure planetoid deep in the Outer Rim, in the aftermath of the Clone Wars, which saw the Jedi Order purged and the Galactic Republic reorganized into the Galactic Empire.  The Skywalker twins were born there and given names by their mother Padmé Amidala, former Queen and later Senator of Naboo, before she died, depicted in "Revenge of the Sith."

With her mother's death in childbirth and her father's fall to the dark side of the Force, Leia and her twin brother Luke Skywalker were separated to keep them hidden from the Sith Lords Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. As the adopted daughter of a politician, Leia Organa eventually succeeded Bail by representing their homeworld in the Imperial Senate, though secretly she supported the Rebellion. During the Galactic Civil War, however, Alderaan was destroyed along with its inhabitants and the royal family by the Empire's DS-1 Death Star Mobile Battle Station, causing Organa to openly fight the New Order as a leader of the Rebel Alliance.

In the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, Organa married the Corellian smuggler Han Solo and learned the Jedi arts as her brother's apprentice until giving birth to her son, Ben Solo, on the day of the Empire's capitulation in 5 ABY. 

Luke training Leia lightsaber combat on Ajan Kloss

Following the Battle of Endor, Luke trained his sister as a first Jedi apprentice on Ajan Kloss, but Leia ended her training after the birth of her son and seeing his death as a result of finishing her knighthood.


Her personal and political life suffered in the years that followed, with Ben turning to the dark side like his grandfather before him, adopting the persona of Kylo Ren, and the Galactic Senate sidelining Organa's career. Adopting the military rank of general, she led the Resistance during the Cold War and sought to make amends with Ben. Despite her efforts, the First Order succeeded in destroying the New Republic, and Organa's husband died at the hand of their estranged son in 34 ABY. Organa continued to lead the Resistance during the war against the First Order, all the while training Rey—a Force-sensitive scavenger from Jakku—as a Jedi.

As her health declined, Organa used her remaining strength to reach her son, calling him back to the light side of the Force. Following her death on Ajan Kloss in 35 ABY, the Resistance defeated the forces of the reborn Darth Sidious's Sith Eternal on Exegol, and inspired an uprising against the First Order across the galaxy. The heir to three inheritances, Leia Skywalker Organa Solo's legacy passed on to the Jedi Rey Skywalker, the military leader Poe Dameron of the Resistance, and Ben Solo, her only son, who ultimately returned to the light and sacrificed himself for Rey.

Like her brother, Leia was trained as a Jedi Knight, as seen in "The Rise of Skywalker" and had her own lightsaber:

Leia's lightsaber appears in Artemis Leia Aurora Claire River Song Éowyn Fox Graham's crest in the same location and same length as Luke Skywalker's lightsaber in Odysseus Luke Langston Lee Calvin Orion Fox Graham's crest because they are twins.

Aurora:

An aurora, also known as the polar lights or aurora polaris, is a natural light display in Earth's sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions around the Arctic and Antarctic.

Auroras display dynamic patterns of brilliant lights that appear as curtains, rays, spirals, or dynamic flickers covering the entire sky.

Auroras are the result of disturbances in the magnetosphere caused by solar wind. These disturbances alter the trajectories of charged particles in the magnetospheric plasma. These particles, mainly electrons and protons, precipitate into the upper thermosphere and exosphere. The resulting ionization and excitation of atmospheric constituents emit light of varying colour and complexity. The form of the aurora, occurring within bands around both polar regions, is also dependent on the amount of acceleration imparted to the precipitating particles.

Most of the planets in the Solar System, some natural satellites, brown dwarfs, and even comets also host auroras.

A full understanding of the physical processes which lead to different types of auroras is still incomplete, but the basic cause involves the interaction of the solar wind with Earth's magnetosphere. The varying intensity of the solar wind produces effects of different magnitudes but includes one or more of the following physical scenarios.

  1. A quiescent solar wind flowing past Earth's magnetosphere steadily interacts with it and can both inject solar wind particles directly onto the geomagnetic field lines that are 'open', as opposed to being 'closed' in the opposite hemisphere, and provide diffusion through the bow shock. It can also cause particles already trapped in the radiation belts to precipitate into the atmosphere. Once particles are lost to the atmosphere from the radiation belts, under quiet conditions, new ones replace them only slowly, and the loss-cone becomes depleted. In the magnetotail, however, particle trajectories seem constantly to reshuffle, probably when the particles cross the very weak magnetic field near the equator. As a result, the flow of electrons in that region is nearly the same in all directions ("isotropic") and assures a steady supply of leaking electrons. The leakage of electrons does not leave the tail positively charged, because each leaked electron lost to the atmosphere is replaced by a low energy electron drawn upward from the ionosphere. Such replacement of "hot" electrons by "cold" ones is in complete accord with the second law of thermodynamics. The complete process, which also generates an electric ring current around Earth, is uncertain.
  2. Geomagnetic disturbance from an enhanced solar wind causes distortions of the magnetotail ("magnetic substorms"). These 'substorms' tend to occur after prolonged spells (on the order of hours) during which the interplanetary magnetic field has had an appreciable southward component. This leads to a higher rate of interconnection between its field lines and those of Earth. As a result, the solar wind moves magnetic flux (tubes of magnetic field lines, 'locked' together with their resident plasma) from the day side of Earth to the magnetotail, widening the obstacle it presents to the solar wind flow and constricting the tail on the night-side. Ultimately some tail plasma can separate ("magnetic reconnection"); some blobs ("plasmoids") are squeezed downstream and are carried away with the solar wind; others are squeezed toward Earth where their motion feeds strong outbursts of auroras, mainly around midnight ("unloading process"). A geomagnetic storm resulting from greater interaction adds many more particles to the plasma trapped around Earth, also producing enhancement of the "ring current". Occasionally the resulting modification of Earth's magnetic field can be so strong that it produces auroras visible at middle latitudes, on field lines much closer to the equator than those of the auroral zone.
  3. Acceleration of auroral charged particles invariably accompanies a magnetospheric disturbance that causes an aurora. This mechanism, which is believed to predominantly arise from strong electric fields along the magnetic field or wave-particle interactions, raises the velocity of a particle in the direction of the guiding magnetic field. The pitch angle is thereby decreased and increases the chance of it being precipitated into the atmosphere. Both electromagnetic and electrostatic waves, produced at the time of greater geomagnetic disturbances, make a significant contribution to the energizing processes that sustain an aurora. Particle acceleration provides a complex intermediate process for transferring energy from the solar wind indirectly into the atmosphere.

The details of these phenomena are not fully understood. However, it is clear that the prime source of auroral particles is the solar wind feeding the magnetosphere, the reservoir containing the radiation zones and temporarily magnetically-trapped particles confined by the geomagnetic field, coupled with particle acceleration processes.

Both Jupiter and Saturn have magnetic fields that are stronger than Earth's (Jupiter's equatorial field strength is 4.3 Gauss, compared to 0.3 Gauss for Earth), and both have extensive radiation belts. Auroras have been observed on both gas planets, most clearly using the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Cassini and Galileo spacecraft, as well as on Uranus and Neptune.

Claire:

I met Claire Pearson at 8:35 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Sedona and she has become one of our dearest friends. Aside from being on several Flagstaff Poetry Slam Teams with me, we've had her babysat Athena and she read a poem at our wedding:


“Wedding Poem”

by Claire Pearson

friends! family! honored guests! ne’er do wells and those here to settle any outstanding bets (it's me, i probably owe somebody money about all of this)!

welcome and rejoice!

for we are gathered here beneath the twin-trunked wedding tree because the inevitable march of time has been kind enough to deem it so, and there’s no other place i’d rather be than here with all of you

we are here for one reason and one reason alone, to celebrate the ritual union of the fairy queen and the eternal bachelor,

a mythic marriage foretold only in legend, daydream, fever dream, napkin poem, tarot cards, and coffee grounds etc etc until today!

today, we rejoice for the whiskey binge is purely ceremonial and there will be no witches showing up to curse the firstborn,
because we invited the whole town on the internet!!
and there is no sad crying allowed!
only happy tears, like if i came over there, bottled up your tear and froze them, they’d look super pretty under a microscope.

today we are gathered to witness the Grand Duet’s opening melody of the Magnum Opus between
she who first appeared in The Dream
wreathed in a cloud of coconut scented moonlight,
wearing a crown of piano keys and citrine
lucky lucky, how the arrow from your heartstring bow flies True, dear Archer

and he who could have grown an entire peach orchard with the amount of paper used as the backbone of thousand love poems used to prophecize this meeting,
who urged the water within him to rise to meet her

and thank goodness you rose to the occasion,
cause people like this don’t show up every blue moon
and you would have to be the Dumbest Man Alive not to recognize the pillar of light before you.

fact

so we are here to celebrate the realization of The Dream
where the love of your life loves you back and the up-close kind of ache that comes with the longing- dissipates, like a specter in the sunlight
joy is the only thing living in this heart anymore
there’s no more time to walk romance ghosts, may they move on in peace

newlyweds!
may you always have lunchbox love notes to line your pockets and never, ever forget them at work

may red chrysanthemums and white heather bloom in the peach pits of your dimples as an eternal twinkling blush, like you two are the only people on earth in on the juiciest secret
like “yeah, we’ve seen each other naked long enough to have a baby.
and that baby is gonna go on to save the world someday.
so yeah, you’re welcome, universe”

may the coffee be hot, the whiskey cold, the basil fresh, and there be enough rest for all three of you

and may you never forget that laura is so far out of your league that you aren’t even playing the same game. like, laura is playing professional soccer and you play wii tennis.
so like, remember that you’re too good for him and you are a shining gem of a woman.

so on behalf of all of us,
fox,
don’t mess this up

you both have touched upon something holy
carry it with you
always 

I was interviewed Pearson by a student at Northern Arizona University in October 2014. These were my answers.

1) How long have you know Claire Pearson?

A few hours short of 14 months. I met Claire Pearson at 8:35 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at 34°51'56.5"N 111°47'42.2"W, beneath the light in a parking lot whereupon we spoke for the better part of two hours about our views of poetry, poetic theory, the ghosts of dead men and the lack of good coffee shops catering to the 18 to 21 crowd in Sedona.

2) How have you seen her grow?

In the time I have known her, she has grown approximately 1/6th of an inch, if measured from heel to crown, ignoring variations in stance, pose and bouffant. Based on these observations, I expect that if her rate of growth is logarithmic, she will grow at most an inch by the time she is of legal drinking age, although I suspect she will still be carded until at least age 30 due to her height and unusually large neotenic eyes, although if her rate of growth is linear, by the time she is 100 years old, she will be 11.57 inches taller.

When I first met Claire Pearson, she was a veteran and the de facto captain of the Sedona youth poetry slam team, Young Voices Be Heard, and had competed at several Brave New Voices regionals.
As a Brave New Voices veteran, she knew as coaches many of the national and regional slam poets that I knew as peers.

Although loosely affiliated, Brave New Voices and Poetry Slam Inc. are two separate nonprofit poetry slam organizations. Many “adult” slam poets who have an affinity to mentoring young people crossover from the PSI scene to coach local youth teams in their home cities, while many others leave the PSI scene altogether to coach BNV teams exclusively. As structured in relation to PSI, BNV sees itself as the minor league of PSI, grooming young talent who “graduate” into the big leagues of PSI.
As a high school graduate but not yet 19 years old when I met her, Pearson was effectively at the peak of her growth in BNV and was about to age out of eligibility. She was looking to continue slamming as an adult and I provided the means to introduce her into Northern Arizona’s PSI scene.
Coming into the adult scene already with years of writing and slamming experience behind her, Pearson was able to skip passed the angst-ridden and derivative poetry that many first-year adult slam poets create before they find their voice.

Pearson had already found her voice as a heavily metaphoric, narrative poet with confessional and quasi-romantic tendencies by the time I was introduced to her work. Through slamming against college students and adults twice and three times her age, she has made her work edgier and more accessible to general audiences while still maintaining her metaphoric imagery.

Pearson has learned how to write from a feminine perspective in a competitive linguistic sport that is all too often dominated by the male gaze. She has also been able to exorcise many of those ghosts of dead men, whom she still holds dear but which no longer dictate what and how she writes exclusively. Most importantly, she has moved from being a confident though sometimes timid poet to being to hold her own in slams against national poets, some of whom have toured professionally or competed on the finals stage at the Individual World Poetry Slam.

3) How can you tell she loves slamming and poetry?

Pearson is open to criticism of her work as well as offering criticism of others, not just in the surface of performance flubs or cliché lines, but in the root and structure of the poems and performances. After a slam, we can discuss the atmosphere of the room or why a poem did or didn’t work given the particulars of the audience and the poems, showing that she is not just waiting to read but is critically listening to the work on the stage and how it is presented.

Pearson makes the trip from Sedona to slam in Flagstaff weekly or at least attend the slams as a spectator. She earned a slot on the FlagSlam National Poetry Slam Team in her first year, an accomplishment very few poets have been able to achieve as it usually takes several years to work up the skill and talent to win a slot.

Pearson attends slams outside her home city, which is also something many young poets, especially those in a relatively isolated city like Flagstaff, do not do. In part, she has a network of friends in the poetry scene which makes traveling less intimidating and more of an adventure, but she also has learned how to adapt her work to audiences of differing demographics rather than repeating poems by rote in hopes that they stick with audiences regardless of location. She doesn’t slam just to win, like many poets do without understanding the “why”, nor does she slam just to vent, but rather uses to the experience in whole and in part to develop herself as an artist. That dedication to grow artistically is why audience members who see her week after week are willing to reward her effort, even if as a Sedona émigré she is outside the clique engendered by the somewhat insular Flagstaff poetry scene.

4) What makes her stand out from other slammers and poets?

Pearson offers a voice unique to Flagstaff as a veteran poet. Due to the transitory nature of college students at Northern Arizona University, the Flagstaff poetry scene does not grow like a typical non-college art scene does. Poetry scenes in large cities have poets who spend years or decades in their scene, serving as mentors and growing into icons to either cherish, challenge or learn from, but few NAU graduates remain in Flagstaff, thus taking what they’ve learned and developed to other scenes away after only a few years. In essence, it’s hard to develop a slam family legacy in Flagstaff. While some poets bloom early and develop their voice quickly, most poets take several years to become who they are meant to, and by then, just as they’re reaching their first artistic peak, they’re ready to move on to communities that can support their careers.

Many first year rookies write what they think they should, which is why many poems sound familiar or similar, regardless of the poets’ backgrounds or personal histories.

With those growth years already behind her, Pearson is able to hone her craft and show many of the poets her age or older what they can become once they have half a decade of writing under their belt. As such, Pearson is a sort of a poetic oracle, showing the path other poets can walk should they pursue our art form with the same sort of tenacity she does.

This is Claire Pearson's House Crest:

appears on the lower right:

River Song:

You might have thought this was two names, River and Song, but that's Artemis' first trick.

River Song is the third incarnation of Melody Pond, a "child of the TARDIS" and the wife of Doctor Who, specifically of their 11th and 12th incarnations, although she also had encounters with their 10th and 13th incarnations, as well as earlier incarnations whose memories were later redacted.
Melody Pond/River Song was portrayed by Sydney Wade in her first incarnation, Nina Toussaint-White in her second and as Alex Kingston in her third and final incarnation.

Melody Pond/River Song was mostly human, with some Time Lord DNA, and was conceived by her parents, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, aboard the TARDIS as it travelled through the Time Vortex. She was then raised and conditioned by the Silence, who used her unique DNA to transform her into the first of several Proto-Time Lords, granting her great strength, a deep understanding of the complex principles of time and space, and the ability to regenerate. She loved the Doctor dearly, and shared a long-lasting relationship with them.

River was one of the very few people who knew the Doctor's true name.

River Song (Alex Kingston) and the 10th Doctor Who (David Tennent)

Melody Pond was stolen from her parents as a newborn baby by Madame Kovarian, to become a weapon of the Silence in their crusade against the Doctor. After a later regeneration, she killed the 11th Doctor, but then broke her mental conditioning to give her remaining regenerations to revive him, after learning that River Song was who she would become.

River Song (Alex Kingston) giving up her regeneration powers to revive the 11th Doctor Who (Matt Smith)
The Doctor and her parents left her to make her own way in the universe. With no connection to her family or the Silence, River became an archaeologist, ostensibly to track the Doctor through time. She crossed the Doctor's path on several occasions, across many of their incarnations, and generally with the result that she was meeting them at progressively earlier points in their own time stream. Hoping to avoid temporal paradoxes, the 11th Doctor gave her a diary to keep track of their meetings and to prevent her from revealing "spoilers" to him about his own future.

Again forced by the Silence, she made a second attempt on the 11th Doctor's life, which led to their eventual marriage. 
River Song (Alex Kingston) and the 11th Doctor Who (Matt Smith)


Though actually unsuccessful, she was convicted of his murder and spent many years in Stormcage Containment Facility for it — to convince the universe and the Silence that her husband actually was dead. This confinement was made more bearable by escaping frequently to go out on dates with the Doctor. She was eventually pardoned, due to the Doctor deleting any evidence of his existence, and became a Professor of Archaeology.

River Song (Alex Kingston) spent a night with her husband, the 12th Doctor Who (Peter Capalbi), at the Singing Towers of Darillium. Due to the fact that they lived reversed timelines, it was his last night with her. One "night" on Darillium lasts 24 years, so it was long visit.

After a final adventure with the 12th Doctor, which ended with them spending a 24-year-long night at the Singing Towers of Darillium, she died saving the 10th Doctor, Donna Noble, Strackman Lux and the 4,022 people saved in the computer system in the Lux Foundation Library in the 51st century. 

The 10th Doctor saved her consciousness digitally to the Library's computer system CAL.

River returned to Demons Run shortly after the conclusion of the Battle of Demons Run, mere minutes after Kovarian had fled with her as an infant. As the Doctor angrily confronted her on her refusal to help in the battle, River pointed out how his own actions had led to the events of the battle due to making people so afraid of him. As the Doctor demanded to know her real identity, River showed the Doctor his old cot and the prayer leaf inside it, cluing him in to her parentage and true nature.

As the Doctor raced off to locate baby Melody, Amy demanded answers from River. In response, River showed her parents the prayer leaf upon which the name "Melody Pond" became "River Song" in the language of the Gamma Forests and explained that she was their daughter: The people of the Gamma Forest didn't have a word for "Pond", because "the only water in the forest is the river."

As Amy and Rory read the leaf, the TARDIS translation circuits made the writing change to read "River Song". River was Amy and Rory's daughter.

Amelia "Amy" Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) discover River Song (Alex Kingston) is their grown-up daughter Melody Pond after the Battle of Demon's Run.

River Song's interactions are very confusing one due to the fact Doctor Who encountered River Song as he moved forward through time and she moved backwards:
I mean, really confusing if you want to know all the details (start at "A Good Man Goes to War" in the bottom right)

River Song kept a diary of her adventures with the Doctor. The cover was TARDIS blue and resembled the exterior of the Doctor's TARDIS. Since the diary was written from River's point of view, she didn't let the Doctor read it, teasingly saying "spoilers!" and often putting her finger on her lips.

River Song's diary with a bookmark of her oft-repeated warning to the Doctor "Spoilers!" appears at the bottom.

Éowyn:

In "The Lord of the Rings," Éowyn of Rohan is known as the White Lady of  Rohan, Shieldmaiden of Rohan, Lady of the Shield-arm, Lady of Ithilien and Lady of Emyn Arnen.

Éowyn means "horse lover" in Anglo-Saxon, the language J.R.R. Tolkien used to represent Rohirric. Éowyn was the second child of Éomund and Théodwyn, youngest sister of her brother Éomer. She was the neice of King Théoden of Rohan through their mother, who was the king's sister. Her father was slain and her mother died of illness in TA 3002.

When Denethor II, steward of Gondor, urgently called for Théoden's aid against Mordor, Éowyn begged to be allowed to ride to battle but Théoden refused.

In bitterness, she disguised herself as a man, under the alias Dernhelm, and rode to Minas Tirith on her horse Windfola. She took Meriadoc Brandybuck along because he likewise wanted to follow his friends to battle, but had been refused by Théoden. Because Éowyn weighed less than a man of similar height, Windfola was able to bear both her and Merry.

During the Battle of the Pelennor Fields [March 15, TA 3019], she fought in Théoden's escort; when he and his company were attacked by the Witch-king of Angmar, lord of the Nazgûl, she and Merry were the only riders who did not flee. 

As Théoden lay mortally wounded, she challenged the Witch-King, who boasted that "no living man may hinder me."

In answer, she removed her helmet, exposing her long blond hair, and declared, "No living man am I! You look upon a woman! Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. Begone if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!"

In a rage, the Witch-king attacked her, but she cleaved the head off his Fell Beast.

The Witch-king shattered her shield with a blow of his mace, breaking her arm, but stumbled when Merry stabbed his leg from behind with a Barrow-blade of Westernesse make. Éowyn stabbed her sword through the Witch-king's head, killing him, and thus fulfilling Glorfindel's prophecy a thousand years earlier at the Battle of Fornost that "not by the hand of man" would the Witch-king fall.

The film version of "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" has a shorter interaction.
  • Éowyn: I will kill you if you touch him!
  • Witch King: Do not come between the Nazgul and his prey.
  • [Taking Eowyn by the throat] You fool. No man can kill me. Die now.
  • [Merry stabs the Witch King from behind; the Witch King shrieks and falls to his knees. Éowyn rises and pulls off her helm, her hair falls down over her shoulder]
  • Éowyn: I am no man.
  • [She thrusts her sword into the Witch King's helm and twists; he shrieks and implodes]

The interaction between Éowyn and the Witch-king of Angmar has parallels to William Shakespeare's "Macbeth." In the play, the title character MacBeth, Thane of Cawdor, believes he is invincible because the three Witch Sisters have prophesied that "no man of woman born" will defeat him. Macduff, however, finds a loophole in this prophecy by declaring that he was "from his mother's womb untimely ripped," which is usually interpreted to mean that he was delivered by Caesarean section.

Éowyn and Merry, likewise, exploit a loophole in Glorfindel's prophecy, since she was a woman and Merry was a hobbit. Similar to Shakespeare's character Macbeth, the Witch-king was likely made overconfident by the prophecy, and unsettled by Éowyn's announcement that it did not apply to her.

The crest of Rohan:

Fox Graham:

For obvious reasons. Not much to add to this one, other than Fox Graham is my middle and last name. Athena and Odysseus' last names are also "Fox Graham"

The House Crest Motto:

"Fear Nothing But a Cage"

Artemis' motto comes from "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" from a conversation between Aragon the Ranger and future king of Gondor and Éowyn, shieldmaide of Rohan and neice to King Théoden after Aragon sees her practicing with with sword.
  • Aragorn: You have some skill with a blade.
  • Éowyn: The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them. I fear neither death nor pain.
  • Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?
  • Éowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.
  • Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.
Appears here: