More Camera Eye Poems



Do you see it there,
that dark place,
ruining your pleasant print?

You want shades of gray
with delicate detail,
glowing highlights,
certainly not that hole
into inky blackness.
So you decide to print again,
dodge that dark place
with your hand,
moving quickly, artfully,
to limit light that falls,
and so hold back the blackness
that spreads across your image,
show instead those details
you know are there,
too long ignored.

But your new print
There is no brilliant revelation.
The dark space
seems simply grayed out
muted to inconsequence,
and you see that faint line,
a tell-tale sign
of moving hand’s
deliberate concealment.
Some dark places
are really dark,
you know,
and what’s in them
can’t be dodged
after all

Opportunity Falls

When you drop your camera
and your most expensive lens,
your heart drops with it
onto the pavement
After all,
surely it’s a sign
that your new way of seeing
is too precarious.
Maybe you should listen
to the others,
go back to seeing
what they say
was always good enough,
Trying to photograph a full moon
in a mackerel sky
on an old tri-pod
is tricky at best,
but if there’s a sign here,
it’s about time,
the shock of opportunity
to try something new.
Who knows what speeds
a new shutter drive will find,
what images will focus
in a newer lens.
Just be ready to move ahead
when opportunity falls
at your feet.


The meter
to adventure,
new ways of seeing
that blur and sharpen,
blend and pop out,
as you decide.
They dance together,
aperture and shutter,
in sensuous samba,
syncopating in time,
sensitive to light.
One leads, the other falls back,
and so create an image
to fit the film
as its speeds though space,
tilting at planets,
waltzing with the sun,
drifting through fog banks,
clouds of whitest snow.
Oh yes, aperture and shutter
dance sinuously
in your blood,
sing in your innermost ear,
flicker in your eye,
so you see ever more clearly
what is not there
until you look
through your lens.


Most of life is lived
in middlegray,
that range of tone
where tone is inoffensive.
Photographs gather more—
the highlights and the shadows,
those brightest joys,
and darkest sorrows,
which rely on middle gray
for reference,
but exceed its scale.
The trick is finding
where middlegray
must fall
into your composition—
so that your whites are bright,
and shadows darkly clear.

I look out at mountain peaks
against a clear blue sky,
where sunlight shadows
canyons dark and deep.
Middlegray I choose to set
squarely where I stand,
so I can show detail
at both the darkest
and the brightest in my view—
my image not so light
that snowy peaks
spin off, get lost in whiteness,
not so dark
that canyon loses texture,
and you can’t see
those shallow steps
etched into sheer cliff
to bring you from
that downward path
back up again.

Middlegray holds me steady,
centers vision,
as long as I remember
to look above, beyond it,
place it carefully
in the world I see.


From the mountains
my monopod remembers
how to keep me upright
along the way.
It’s not a ladder
or a cane,
but a slender fulcrum
to align each step,
place my axis
on the earth’s
so I spin in orbit all my own
yet centered in
the life around me.

I follow steepest grades,
loose stones beneath my feet,
past sharp rocks,
holes that open into chasms,
narrow passageways,
along switchbacks.
I balance on a narrow log,
plant my monopod
on the far side.
Then in a flash
it holds my camera
as a scene focuses around me.
Camera clipped on top,
foot braced at bottom,
I see the world
center in my eye,
edges pulsing back
till I hold all light and shadow,
framed and still.

I fire the shutter,
feel it sing in my blood,
hum in my ears,
till image fades,
and my hand turns cold
around my lens.
My camera stowed,
I carry on,
find an anchor
in each step
as best I can.

I believe in what I see,
how the power in my eye
links me like a lens
to a petal unfolding,
snow sparkling on mountain peaks,
tree rocketing towards the sky,
leaves dancing in the wind.
My monopod roots, blossoms,
holds my camera,
holds me steady.

Here in the flatland,
and low lying valleys,
I remember
to tread carefully,
plant myself firmly,
camera ready
at each moment
along my way.

The Case for Poetry

So what if your poems are
not profound at all?
if what seems to you so perfectly phrased
is just run of the mill thinking,
and those mysteries,
you see in trees and flowers
really don’t need asking?
What if you’re just
a lower case bard?

What’s the point anyway
of writing what you think about?
Most people would rather
just get on with it,
not have you waste your time
at the keyboard.
Heart says,
Who decides
what questions should,
or should not,
be asked?
What yardstick is the one to measure thoughts?
What clock should tick
your minutes into hours,
move your hands
in circles numbered only up to twelve?

What about how you feel
when fingers dance along the keys,
thoughts sparkle in your blood,
breath moves warm and easy,
and your jaw relaxes,
freed from saying
meaningless things,
and lips part
into a smile
that reaches all the way down
to your toes.

Case dismissed!

Return to your Ghost Ranch Companion

WomenCanDoIt Home | A Mother's Poems | Trees on the Wing | Island Songs |Reef Dance | Healing Poems |
Image Galleries

Freedom Poems | Poems about poetry |Garden poems| Fairytale poems|
Goddess poems
| Circus poems

Cat Door, Place des Vosges
| Red Dress, Place Vendome | on the road poems

Yosemite poems |Ghost Ranch Companion

 © 2005, Lenore Horowitz