Thursday, April 30, 2015

    The book is launched! Places and Times officially was unveiled today at the Blythewood Arts Center in Blythewood, South Carolina. Among family and friends was poet Al Black from Columbia, South Carolina. Many thanks to Jean Bell at the Center and to all who came. It was a wonderful time!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No rest after the 30 April launch!

   On Saturday, 2 May, I will be in charming Ridgeway, South Carolina, with copies of "Places and Times" available. While there I hope to see some friends, make new ones, and enjoy the ambiance of this wonderful event!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

   In case you find yourself in or near Blythewood, South Carolina later this week, please feel free to stop on by for the Official Book Launch! I know many of you would if only it were possible! At any rate, here is the official announcement. Share in my joy, if only vicariously.Thanks!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Song for Anzac Day

   Performed by its writer, this song defines the campaign that reflects on the crucible from which modern Australia and New Zealand were formed. Churchill resigned the Admiralty over the failed campaign. World War I unwittingly set the stage for the rest of the century and even more.

   God bless all who perished in the so-called "War to End All Wars", including my great-uncle, Edmond Schollaert, Private, 91st Division, US Army. He is buried not far from where he parents were born, just over the border in Belgium.

Bob Kerry, wounded Vietnam vet, former US Senator and Governor of Kansas, would sing this from time to time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

     I am in the April 22, 2015 Free Times, Columbia, SC' independent weekly newspaper. Thanks so much to everyone there!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

   With any luck today, I shall finish reading John Irving's "The Cider House Rules" on my Kindle Fire. The filmed version was lovely, but sadly had to be condensed and pruned to fit a cinematic format. Otherwise it would have been the length of a Wagnerian opera!

   Irving wrote the screenplay, and Lasse Hallstrom directed. The added gem is Rachel Portman's exquisite soundtrack. Some of that will be played at my book launch later this month ( a friend will add so
me live violin).

   The comfort is that with Irving's input, the movie turned out more satisfying than some other adaptations of his work. Maybe, someone will one day re do "A Prayer for Owen Meany".

A link to the Portman's "The Cider House Rules Suite :

Friday, April 17, 2015

Another one from "Places and Times"

I re-connected with a fellow writer friend who was very encouraging to me a few years ago. She said some kind words about this poem, now in "Places and Times", and perhaps it is time to share it againt to tantalize the world.
The Island
No islander am I, but all the same
I wander green fields that go forever,
Rolling on towards a distant tree line
Or extending along to a sheltered cove.
At times I am invited, encouraged
Even, to stay for longer duration,
Taking my place alongside the others,
Savoring the stillness of hallowed space,
Watching colors brightening with the sun
And listening to wafting songs of praise
Resounding over and over again.
Contentment I find there from distant waves
And storms that come clashing onto the coast,
Until the stinging subtle reminder
That I am sojourner, not citizen.
Then turns my gaze once again to the strand
And beyond to the mainland, hovering
As it were above the waves, beckoning
Me to return and remain there.
On the mainland I indeed have a place
High on a hill. From its wooded crest my
Gaze penetrates the mists which are covering
The island. I have memories of the
Green pleasant hills but now I turn inland
To see the beckoning and distant hills
Arthur Turfa, copyright, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

   First box of "Places and Times" arrived today! I am two weeks out from the official launch and first arts festival. It is exciting!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Happy belated birthday, Eric Clapton!

    Last week Eric turned 70, the threescore and ten of perfection, according to tradition. I first heard him on an album from brother brought home from a record store in West Philly, near the Penn and Drexel (his school) campuses.

   At 3:33 on the link, Clapton breaks into "Hideaway", and I was hooked. Mayall is still going strong; he is more famous for people who became famous (Peter Green, Mick Taylor, et al.), but he is still an amazing talent and promoter of blues.

   On the album cover are left-to-right: John Mayall, Eric Clapton, John McVie (co-founder of Fleetwood Mac), and Hughie Flint. Enjoy!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Lost Sessions- John Renbourn

    On Easter Sunday, my schedule allowed me to catch of the Sirius XM's Folk show on The Bridge (6-10 am EST),. Mary Sue Twohy played an amazing cut from John Renbourn's "Lost Sessions", "To Glastonbury" stunned me with its beauty.

     The album came from studio work post-Pentangle in the early 1970s, and collected dust for two decades. Renbourn was living then in the West Country, which is where I would enjoy living in the UK. My plan in 1979 was to go to Glastonbury for the Arthurian sites while I was in Exeter, but on the August bank holiday, trains were on a holiday schedule. Of course the music festival takes place there now.

     Sadly, I could not find neither the individual song nor the lyrics, but here is a link to the entire album. "To Glastonbury" starts around 21:39.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

It's out there! "Places and Times"

     First of all, I would like to thank all of those who either told me or messaged me that they were interested in the book! I can truthfully say I have international interest!
     Right now I am waiting for 100 copies for local purposes. In this post I will put up the publisher's link.!/Places-and-Times-Paperback-*/p/49408222/category=4758361

Note that the eBook versions come automatically with paperback purchase. Others vendors carry both, but at separate prices (e.g. Amazon)

I would appreciate hearing from an international friend about how eLectio handles non-US currency. There is a lot for me to learn!

Thanks so much again, everyone!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Official Release date- April 7, 2015.

Tomorrow is the big day! I am extremely grateful for everyone who has encouraged me, assisted me (even if they did not know that they were), and helped make the book possible! Especially, I would like to thank Carol Worthington Levy for the cover art! is the first place you should look for this!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

"O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"/"O Sacred Head Now Wounded"

    An earlier Latin hymn inspired Paul Gerhardt, Lutheran pastor, to compose his own poem which bears the title above. It is a mainstay of  not only Lutheran Good Friday services; its appeal spread beyond its origin.
     Traditionally, German Lutheran Good Friday services include singing all ten verses. Many people know the text by heart. Having been at several such services in the U.S., I can personally attest to the effect of singing the hymn in its entirety. Until rather recently, many, but not all hymns, were meant to serve as stand-along works of devotional impact; in too many cases "songs" in sacred setting merely repeat a phrase or phrases, and appeal more to the emotional. In the hands of someone like Gerhardt, the text can combine doctrinal potency with emotive effect.

    During the Three Days/Triduum, I try to listen to the entire "St. Matthew's Passion" (I received a version as a gift), and if I have time, the "St. John's Passion" (also a gift from a friend who sang the Evangelist's part in California).

from Bach's "St. Matthew Passion""

German text- ignore the English translation here!

This is a better English translation:

Reviews Are So Very Important to Writers, and So Hard to Get

      When my first poetry book was published seven years ago, I dutifully asked readers/friends to review it. That book, Places and Times, ...