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Wally Swist – Four Poems

What is peripheral is
              often not even what is considered,
                            but what passes just beyond
                                          our vision may momentarily

flutter there and be so enchanting
              that it offers a revelation as to
                            why butterflies are emblematic
                                          of the evanescent. 

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Judith Skillman – Five Paintings

Without our star, how would we inhabit bodies of rich sensory perception with which to perceive, even partially, the faint and intermittent signals lumped together under the term “beauty”? From the darkness of our ordinary, often dreary and difficult lives, these signals—if we pause long enough from “information—can become art. These glimpses into the organic whole may even glimmer.

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Julie Rosenzweig – The Mirror

Fine-grained urbanism doesn’t hijack your attention; it invites you in. You don’t view it, you live it – calling to mind Walter Benjamin’s famous dictum about architecture being an art whose reception “is consummated […] in a state of distraction.” We often think of beauty as something to be contemplated at a remove. Like life, though, beauty can be something that simply happens while you’re busy making other plans.

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The Lame Angel – Catulle Mendès (1885) Translated by Patricia Worth

I wish you could see what I see. A vast blue port sparkles in the afternoon sun that shines its bright band across the water. The dazzle makes me look left of it toward the bays and inlets and forested hills on the opposite shore. Below my balcony a cliff held together by lush shrubby trees drops steeply away to the esplanade, quiet on this cool May day.

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Accoutrements and Mandelbrot: Our Best of the Net nominations

I am, as the poet says, the stunned machine of her devotion. A dark pleated skirt, falling just past the knees. Black silk blouse, buttoned all the way. Pearls, of course, crystal earrings James gifted for her birthday, bangles, gold on each wrist. They caught the sunlight flowing in from the window, and I was dazzled.

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Angela Alaimo O’Donnell – Four Poems

Flannery O’Connor had a penchant for the weird & the wild and a gift for finding beauty in both. After writing 101 poems in her voice, I have come to appreciate the strangeness she admired and become a convert to her brand of beauty. For what is symmetry, proportion, wholeness, and perfection—all classical ideals of beauty—set beside the homely, the lonely, the plain, and the maimed? 

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Daya Bhat – Three Poems

Everything that exists has a unique mysterious element embedded within itself… The process of understanding the key ingredients of beautiful things comes from an obsession to create something similar. Long after admiration begins an abstract traverse of the mind. We first try breaking the crust of superficiality and then attempt to get beneath the intricate layers, all in the anticipation of touching the core of things that fascinate us.

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Wendy A. Howe – Five Poems

Think of  discovering  how one object in  nature can shape-shift into the character of another person or thing, such as the silhouette of a tree (in the moonlight) that becomes a Hopi flute player, an old woman with a cane or whatever the mind allows itself to see; this is the beauty of  being aware, connecting the human soul to that of the natural world. 

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KJ Hannah Greenberg – Six Photographs

When framing nature, I like using the muted light, which follows a storm, or which becomes available at dawn and dusk. Beyond that attention to a setting’s relative brightness and contrast, I try to work with whatever’s at hand. The Boss has constructed an entire universe, literally, of beauty which is impossible for man to replicate, and which is precious to represent.

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Gary Van Haas – Four Dreamscapes

Beautiful things are not necessarily associated with wealth and money; they are the special moments which pass your senses in an instant never to return. A spectacular summer sunset, a full moon on a crisp winter night. feeling the sweet touch of a lover’s kiss, the soft banter of classical music, the intense smell of a rose, a fine work of art, humor, hope, love and faith all play on the conscious and subconscious soul, all parts of human existence aspiring to beauty and nirvana.

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Paul Beckman – Five Photographs

Birds add beauty to my world and especially birds in marsh land. Their long necks twist and turn and their heads are in and out of the marsh water catching food. Their long legs and strides lead them as if they knew exactly where they’re going. The birds flying, soaring, catching the thermals often in groups of hundreds or even thousands in the with swallows put on a show and it’s like watching a playground in the sky. Beauty is everywhere if we look and I carry my camera with me trying  to record the memories.

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Laura Grace Weldon – Four Poems

Everything we take into ourselves forms who we are in a continuous process of becoming. Maybe beauty reaches into everything, linking and making meaning in ways well beyond our awareness. Maybe it is hidden in stories, sights, and sensations we deem ugly or frightening because we aren’t tuned to beauty. Maybe finding beauty is a choice we learn to make.  

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