Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Long Island Limerick Competition Extended

LIU CWPost logo
Think Long Island First logo
Due to the storm which ravaged larger parts of Long Island, we have decided to extend the Long Island Limerick Competition submission period until November 15th.

The award ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 24th at 4 pm and will be combined with the Holiday Poetry Reading at Think Long Island First.

More on the Long Island Limerick Competition 2012.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Merlin Talking to Himself, Long Island Poem for Halloween Sunday

In a few days princesses and witches, ghosts, pirates, skeletons, etc, will knock on your door and try to trick you. What a fun game of pretend it is. But what if you are the real thing, a grown, wizened wizard, doing magic for a very long time? We offer an inside look conjured by poet John Digby.

Collage by John Digby
Merlin Talking to Himself
for Jeremy Reed
by John Digby 

Once I could talk to water
And turn it into stone

I could behead the night
With a smile
And turn flowing blood
Into a blazing field of poppies

In any of my former lives
I could walk among the stars
And name every one
And remember each name

I could hold the sun in my left hand
And cool it with my breath

In my right hand
I could hold all the dead
And make them dance
Until they dropped from exhaustion

I could make the birds perch
On the fingers of rain
And make them sing so sweetly
That the stars would rain tears

Even in sleep
I could cut off the legs of a goat
With a wink
And make it fly around the moon

I can only change my shadow into a horse
And make it ride over the tops of forests
And other simple thing like that

Bah and they call that a miracle!

'Merlin Talking to Himself' by John Digby from 'Sailing Away from Night' published in 1978 by Anvil Press Poetry and Kayak Books.
Reprinted with author's permission.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday - How to be kind, Long Island Poem for Sunday

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Limerick Workshop with Joan Digby

On Main Street in old Oyster Bay
We gathered on one autumn day
To write poems that rhyme
And have a fine time
Whiling this Sunday away

Joan Digby teaching
at the Limerick Workshop
Attendees of today's Limerick Workshop at Think Long Island First had a great chance to appreciate the fine art of successful limericks and were lucky to have poet Joan Digby guide them on the quest!

Joan started with an introduction of the anapest and the iamb - the metrical feet applied in a typical limerick. She spoke about the female rhyme so characteristic in the lighter poetry. Guests read their work, Joan commented on the choice of subjects and composition. The event was both highly instructive and highly enjoyable.

Her own limericks summed it all up.

In this workshop you'll write your own limerick
To do this I'll teach you the first trick
Then you'll find a rhyme
For the end of each line
And a Long Island place--that's the gimmick

With your limerick you'll enter a contest
And hope that the judges find yours best
Then you'll get a prize
That is sweet to your eyes
That you'll read at your holiday fest

Long Island Limerick Competition 2012 starts today

LIU CWPost logo
Think Long Island First logo
Long Island Limerick Competition kicks off today with the Limerick Workshop at 2 pm at Think Long Island First in Oyster Bay. It will be conducted by the poet and one of the judges, Joan Digby, of the Poetry Center at Long Island University's CW Post Campus.

Limericks entered to the competition must contain a name of a Long Island town, village, or site, and they must be fit to print. There is no limit on the number of submissions.

Long Island Limerick Competition is now open for submissions. Please note we only accept electronic entries submitted in the form below.
The submission period ends October 31st, 2012.

Limericks will be judged for their creativity, metrics, and language by three distinguished Long Island poets and teachers: Joan Digby of LIU Post, Barbara Novack of Molloy College, and Diane Simone Lutz of Queensborough Community College.

Winners will be announced at the Award Ceremony on Sunday, November 4th, at 2 pm at Think Long Island First in Oyster Bay. Winners will take home Think Long Island First gift certificates of $25, $15 and $10.

Accepted entries will be published at Think Long Island First.

For more information please refer to the Long Island Limerick Competition 2012 Press Release.

How to be kind, Long Island Poem for Sunday

Don Murray

I think of a man my son met
in the schoolyard with a knapsack
full of steakbones
petting an invisible dog.

Heels in the ground he walked it,
claimed the dog could cook & sew.

"Next time," I said, "he says to you,
'don't' step on the dog,'
don't mock, I want you to be kind."

Ask if it bites,
take the risk & rub its ears.

'Theory' by Don Murray from the 1986 'Long Island Poets' collection by The Permanent Press in Sag Harbor. Reprinted with publisher's permission.
'Long Island Poets' can be purchased from The Permanent Press.

An interesting take on the subject, particularly in our world of quick judgements and ever extending protection measures. It is a short poem, but it has two beautifully constructed scenes: one of an unusual encounter in a schoolyard and then the conversation of father(?) and son. We liked the choice of word 'kind' - mildly British and slightly old fashioned, but just right in the context.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday - Indian Summer at Jones Beach, Long Island Poem for Sunday

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Indian Summer at Jones Beach, Long Island Poem for Sunday

Boardwalk Infinity
Photograph by Harvey Hellering
Indian Summer at Jones Beach
Maria Manobianco

Soft-brushed brushed
cerulean sky
gulls gliding over water’s edge
shadowless mist
greeting my sight.

An unusual autumn day
filtered sun brightens the boardwalk.
Liquid ground sinks under my feet
rhythmic waves tempt my body.

If I could soar
I would float
on the diffused light
on Monet’s Water Lilies.

October, and already my heart
hungers for the fruits of spring
the color of flowers
the song of the birds.

I deposit this reprieve
in my memory
to withdraw
for the coldest days.

'Indian Summer at Jones Beach' by Maria Manobianco.
Published with author's permission.

Farmingdale poet Maria Manobianco's individual publications include 'Between Ashes and Flame' and 'Young Adult Fable, The Golden Orb'. Her work appears in numerous anthologies. Maria serves as a committee member and archivist for the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society. Her background includes formal education in science and arts.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday - To wend and to ebb in the ocean of life - Long Island Poem for Sunday

Friday, October 12, 2012

John Digby and the democratic art of collage making

John Digby, the collagist
We have already written about John Digby, the Oyster Bay poet, in our article - At home with artists Joan and John Digby. This time we concentrate on John's collage making art - a livelong, all-consuming passion.

John considers collage making a democratic art - even an inexperienced person can create a collage. Materials are humble, process relatively simple. This is a deceptive statement though - one needs a great deal of creativity to make an engaging collage, experience and manual dexterity to execute it properly, and foresight to create a lasting work. All these John has in abundance. His collages are captivating and the craftsmanship is flawless.

He created couple of different thematic series - birds and other animals and abstract work, among others. For the latter he produced his own paper designs through a laborious but esthetically satisfying process. For other collages he uses acid-free paper copies of mostly 19th century engravings or drawings from natural history or travel books.

Whatever the theme, John is trying to infuse a sense of humor into his pieces. In that he follows his great inspiration - British painter, etcher, and printmaker Samuel Palmer, whose humor carried him through many dark periods of life.

How does one read, understand a collage? John gets various responses to his work - the animal collages are usually read through the narrative, the abstract ones as a more intellectual challenge. Interestingly, John's work receive great response from surgeons, who, in addition to the esthetics, also understand the tactile aspect of his work.

John is generous with his knowledge - he and his wife Joan authored a highly informative book on the subject - 'The Collage Handbook', where, in addition to the history of the genre and examples of collages by various artists, they present John's techniques and materials.

Even with the many years of experience, John's pursuit of perfection continues. He believes that if one's work is not difficult, no progress is made. He also does not approve of the word "like". He finds it vulgar. He himself will rather either appreciate or not appreciate the effort and the outcome of an artistic undertaking.

John's collages have been exhibited internationally and found place in both museums and private collections.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Small Business Saturday at your small local shop

We will be kicking off the holiday season with the Small Business Saturday - a day filled with creative pursuits. Please join us on November 24th between 11 am and 5 pm. We guarantee you will be well entertained, you may even leave as a soon-to-be-published author!

11 am Holiday ornaments – decorate your own
Potter Sue Adler brings majolica holiday ornaments ready for your decorating touches. Materials fee will be collected. Ornaments will be ready for pick up 2 weeks after the event.

12 pm Eco-friendly gift wrapping
Reuse, reuse, reuse - Jolanta Zamecka and Ewa Rumprecht gift wrap with minimal environmental impact. Guests are encouraged to share their own ideas and projects.

1 pm Quilts – what makes them special
Quilter Sherry Phelps, third generation quilter, presents her family heirlooms as well as her own work and explains what makes a successful quilt.

2 pm Feng Shui, crystals, stones
Jeweler Sharon LaMonica introduces the basic concepts of Feng Shui and speaks about properties of crystals and stones. Perfect chance to adjust your energy or relaxation level.

3 pm Decorate with ribbons
Kristi Halpern creates festive decorations with ribbons. She guides you on a quest for a perfect ribbon for any decorating project.

4 pm Holiday poetry reading
Bring your own or your favorite holiday poem and read it to guests. Selected poems will be published by the Prehensile Pencil Publications, ready for purchase before the holidays.

For the greater pleasure of the company fiddler Eric Marten will accompany the poems with old holiday tunes while his wife, Trudy, introduces the limber jack.

Throughout the day, guests will have a chance to observe painter Yvonne Dagger and wood carver Don Dailey work their holiday magic with brushes and knives, respectively.

Please review the event's Press Release for more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2nd Anniversary of Think Long Island First

Dear All,

We are celebrating our second anniversary today.

The last two years have been an incredible journey. It offered us a great opportunity to discover beautiful artwork made locally on Long Island. It allowed us to meet the very talented artists who made it. It put us in touch with Long Islanders interested in locally made goods.

We want to thank All who contributed their work and All who supported us in the last two years.

With deep gratitude,

Ewa and Jolanta

Enjoy photos of the store and artwork on display:

To wend and to ebb in the ocean of life - Long Island Poem for Sunday

Today marks the second anniversary of our store which puts us in a reflective mood.

Though Walt Whitman, whose poem we have selected for this Sunday, invokes "Paumanok ... you fish-shaped island," the location "stands for all the water and all the land of the globe". The question still remains - where are we in the greater scheme of things? Whitman's humility is great - he mocks his own work, "I perceive I have not understood anything". All he asks is that the elements are kind to him and vice versa "I mean tenderly by you". Rather inspiring.

Walt Whitman

 ELEMENTAL drifts!
O I wish I could impress others as you and the waves
         have just been impressing me.

   As I ebbed with an ebb of the ocean of life,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walked where the sea-ripples wash you, Pau-
Where they rustle up, hoarse and sibilant,
Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her
I, musing, late in the autumn day, gazing off south-
Alone, held by the eternal self of me that threatens
         to get the better of me, and stifle me,
Was seized by the spirit that trails in the lines
In the rim, the sediment, that stands for all the water
         and all the land of the globe.

   Fascinated, my eyes, reverting from the south,
         dropped, to follow those slender winrows,
Chaff, straw, splinters of wood, weeds, and the sea-
Scum, scales from shining rocks, leaves of salt-
         lettuce, left by the tide;
Miles walking, the sound of breaking waves the other
         side of me,
Paumanok, there and then, as I thought the old
         thought of likenesses,
These you presented to me, you fish-shaped island,
As I wended the shores I know,
As I walked with that eternal self of me, seeking

   As I wend the shores I know not,
As I listen to the dirge, the voices of men and women
As I inhale the impalpable breezes that set in
         upon me,
As the ocean so mysterious rolls toward me closer
         and closer,
At once I find, the least thing that belongs to me, or
         that I see or touch, I know not;
I, too, but signify, at the utmost, a little washed-up
A few sands and dead leaves to gather,
Gather, and merge myself as part of the sands and

   O baffled, balked,
Bent to the very earth, here preceding what follows,
Oppressed with myself that I have dared to open my
Aware now, that, amid all the blab whose echoes
         recoil upon me, I have not once had the least
         idea who or what I am,
But that before all my insolent poems the real ME
         still stands untouched, untold, altogether un-
Withdrawn far, mocking me with mock-congrat-
         ulatory signs and bows,
With peals of distant ironical laughter at every word
         I have written or shall write,
Striking me with insults till I fall helpless upon the

   O I perceive I have not understood anything—not a
         single object—and that no man ever can.

   I perceive Nature here, in sight of the sea, is taking
         advantage of me, to dart upon me, and sting me,
Because I was assuming so much,
And because I have dared to open my mouth to sing
         at all.

   You oceans both! You tangible land! Nature!
Be not too rough with me—I submit—I close with
These little shreds shall, indeed, stand for all.

   You friable shore, with trails of debris!
You fish-shaped island! I take what is underfoot;
What is yours is mine, my father.

   I too Paumanok,
I too have bubbled up, floated the measureless float,
         and been washed on your shores;
I too am but a trail of drift and debris,
I too leave little wrecks upon you, you fish-shaped

   I throw myself upon your breast, my father,
I cling to you so that you cannot unloose me,
I hold you so firm, till you answer me something.

   Kiss me, my father,
Touch me with your lips, as I touch those I love,
Breathe to me, while I hold you close, the secret of
         the wondrous murmuring I envy,
For I fear I shall become crazed, if I cannot emulate
         it, and utter myself as well as it.

   Sea-raff! Crook-tongued waves!
O, I will yet sing, some day, what you have said
         to me.

   Ebb, ocean of life, (the flow will return,)
Cease not your moaning, you fierce old mother,
Endlessly cry for your castaways—but fear not,
         deny not me,
Rustle not up so hoarse and angry against my feet, as
         I touch you, or gather from you.

   I mean tenderly by you,
I gather for myself, and for this phantom, looking
         down where we lead, and following me and

   Me and mine!
We, loose winrows, little corpses,
Froth, snowy white, and bubbles,
(See! from my dead lips the ooze exuding at last!
See—the prismatic colors, glistening and rolling!)
Tufts of straw, sands, fragments,
Buoyed hither from many moods, one contradicting
From the storm, the long calm, the darkness, the
Musing, pondering, a breath, a briny tear, a dab of
         liquid or soil,
Up just as much out of fathomless workings fer-
         mented and thrown,
A limp blossom or two, torn, just as much over waves
         floating, drifted at random,
Just as much for us that sobbing dirge of Nature,
Just as much, whence we come, that blare of the
We, capricious, brought hither, we know not whence,
         spread out before You, up there, walking or
Whoever you are—we too lie in drifts at your feet.

"ELEMENTAL drifts" by Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass.
Reprinted after The Walt Whitman Archive. In public domain.

Previous Long Island Poem for Sunday - September day in wind, light and color - Long Island Poem for Sunday

Friday, October 5, 2012

Homeschooler, Skylar Baldino, wins Think Green Award

Think Green Award winner Skylar Baldino
with her winning entry
This year, Think Green Award for an item made with the least environmental impact went to Skylar Baldino, 14 year old homeschooler from Elmont, NY.

Skylar made the winning piece, the one room doll house, entirely from recycled materials. It was created as a summer project organized by one of the homeschooler moms.

Originally, her design called for an upside down house, but eventually the structure was realized in a more standard fashion, or per Skylar's mild pun - it "came out of the box". For the blue bedroom she used leftover cereal boxes, cardboard, fabrics, puzzle pieces, discarded jewelry chains, tooth paste cap, etc. It was a very involved project and she spent 4 weeks, on and off, putting in together.

Skylar's choice of recycled materials for this and any other art projects was not accidental. She grew up in an eco-consciencious family, where reuse and recycling are standard. Her artistic development is encouraged by her parents who frequently act as her sounding board. Skylar takes basic art classes, enjoys detailed work, and would like to devote more time to clay and graphic animation in the future.

Congratulations, Skylar. Well done!