Antonio Machado 1875 – 1939

“My soul is not asleep. It is awake, wide awake. It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches, its eyes wide open, far off things, and listens at the shores of the great silence.” – Antonio Machado

“Travelers, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.” – Antonio Machado


While visiting Collioure, a strikingly beautiful beach village, several years ago with a friend, we ventured into the cemetery. On that first visit, I became quite curious as there were a large crowd of people surrounding one of the graves. The group stayed for quite some time and it seemed that it was a pilgrimage. After they moved on, I was able to take a look and unfortunately nothing more having my camera out of commission at the time. When my friend returned to France this time and suggested a visit to Collioure, I checked out my camera and prepared for capturing these photos. 


While this group of four is a much smaller gathering than what I witnessed the last time I was here, there seems to be a steady stream of those coming to honor the great poet. It would have been lovely to have a closer shot but I did not want to intrude.


As you can see, to the right of the headstone is a mailbox for those who want to leave a message. Those tiny white stones which appear to be scattered are actually placed as remembrances from those who come to pay their respects. Most have messages on them. Some simply have a date or initials. If you look back at the first photo in this post you can see some of those stones more clearly.


 “The wind, one brilliant day, called                                                                                                to my soul with the odor of jasmine.

‘In return for the odor of my jasmine                                                                                                 I’d like the odor of all your roses.’

‘I have no roses; all the flowers                                                                                                           in my garden are dead.’

‘Well then, I’ll take the withered petals and the yellow leaves                                                  and the waters of the fountain.’

the wind left. And I wept. And I said to myself:                                                                          ‘What have you done with the garden that was entrusted to you?’

– Antonio Machado

Born in Seville, the young Antonio moved with his family to Madrid in 1883 where he and his brother, Manuel, joined the Free Educational Institution. This was where Antonio discovered his passion for literature. At the age of seventeen, he lost his father and took on a series of jobs including acting. At the dawning of the new century, he joined his brother in Paris. Manuel already had gained employment as a translator. In Paris, Antonio encountered Jean Moréas and Paul Fort and other contemporary figures in the literary world including Oscar Wilde. Such connections supported his decision that he too would be a poet.Antonio’s first poems were published in a literary journal, Electra, in 1901 and followed two years later by his first collection in 1903, Soledades. A second edition was published in 1907.

Antonio was offered a teaching position, French, in Soria and there he met Leonor Izquierdo Cuevas. He married Miss Cuevas in 1909 when he was 34 years old and the young lady was fifteen. Three years later they returned to Paris. Unfortunately, Leonor developed tuberculosis and returned to Spain where she died on 1 August, 1912. Antonio was devastated by his loss and shortly after the publication of Campos de Castilla, he left Soria for good. His next home was in Baeza, in Andalusia. He published a new edition of Campos de Castilla in 1916 in which he included poems on the death of his wife.

Machado taught French in Segovia from 1919 to 1931 and this allowed him to live closer to his brother who was in Madrid. The closeness allowed them to collaborate writing a number of successful plays. Antonio also enjoyed a romance with Pilar Valderrama, a married woman who he later writes of in later poems using the name, Guiomar.

While still in Segovia, he declares the Republic using the Republican flag which he raises on the town’s hall to the accompaniment of the French National Anthem, La Marseillaise.  His philosophical leanings and moral declarations become increasingly clear in a series he published on the eve of the Spanish Civil War using the pseudonyms, Able Martin and Juan de Mairena. Machado was in Madrid when the war broke out and he was separated from his brother, a separation that would last for the rest of their lives.

His writing continued but made clear his sympathies were with the Republican Party. Machado, brothers José, Joaquim and their mother, were evacuated to Valencia then later to Barcelona.When the Second Spanish Republic fell, they were forced to escape into France where they found themselves in Collioure. He died on 22 February, 1939. He was buried there in Collioure. His mother died shortly after and is also buried nearby.  

If this is your introduction to Antonio Machado, I do hope you will explore his work and enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you.








Portes Ouvertes: Cailhau Part 2

As promised, there is more to be seen from the exhibit in Cailhau. I shall provide links to the artists when possible and otherwise refer you to the Artist’s Collective and for those of you on Facebook, here is their link:


This first photo is one of a few that are at Atelier galerie Al Trial which is where we left off in Part 1. 


Tsk, tsk, I cannot imagine a studio of my own being so organized! I do happen to have a number of friends who are artists and shall we say that I would not be alone… 


As we move from Atelier to Atelier we do so in a group. Now we move on to Atelier Du Verrier were we can see the Bijoux (jewellery) and Objet d’art by Matthew Millar.


Matthew can answer your questions via email at




It took me a moment to notice the bicycle up against the old house in the work above. I do believe it is the piece I like the most among his work.


Our next stop is Atelier boutique L’Ecurie de Pépé. Christine welcomes us into her space which is vibrant and warm. You can contact Christine at



Christine D. with one of her creations
Christine D. with one of her creations

Our next and final stop for this post will be Maison A. 

Barbara Dordi
Barbara Dordi

This poetry book is all hand made/sewn. The watercolours blend with the words. The work, meticulous. You can check out Barbara at

Cover close-up!
Cover close-up!

Barbara is a poet/author and ceramicist. 

Handmade books are unique!
Handmade books are unique!
Song of the Shirt
Song of the Shirt

The Song of the Shirt was written by Thomas Hood in 1843 to honour a widow who sewed to feed her young children. If you want to know more of the story, check out the following link.

In the above photo you can find the poem interspersed with photos of early 20th century women in sweat shops making shirts. The first verse of the poem is here for you.

Song of the Shirt

With fingers weary and worn,
With eyelids heavy and red,
A woman sat in unwomanly rags,
Plying her needle and thread—
Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch
She sang the “Song of the Shirt.”

“Work! work! work!
While the cock is crowing aloof!
And work—work—work,
Till the stars shine through the roof!
It’s O! to be a slave
Along with the barbarous Turk,
Where woman has never a soul to save,
If this is Christian work!

Till the brain begins to swim;


Please forgive the quality of these photos. I do not have others of these last two photographs but did want to show this piece.

3D in Copper
3D in Copper
"Open Minded"
“Open Minded”


These 3D copper creations are the work of Vincent Langlard. You can visit his website at or

Artist Vincent Langlard
Artist Vincent Langlard 


While the birds themselves were creative, if you look closely in the above photo you will find the small man. With the appearance of someone on back of the bird soaring higher I was swept away by this evocative piece. I also use this piece to close the series from Cailhau. I’ve no doubt we shall return.




Le Maison de Victor Hugo

Maison de Victor Hugo

This post first appeared on 23 December 2011.


“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.” -Victor Hugo

Anyone who has experienced the delights of Paris knows there are more than can be attended in one visit. Monsieur Hugo lived in the second floor apartment of Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée from 1832 to 1848. During those 16 years, he wrote several of his major works including a large part of Les Misérables (a personal favorite).

While touring number 6 place des Vosges you will observe some of Hugo’s furniture, samples of his writing, drawings, family portraits, and first editions of his work. Additionally, you will see a painting of Hugo’s funeral procession at the Arc de Triomphe. The Chinese salon from his home on Guernsey (years of exile) has been reassembled here.

Despite the fact that Hugo spent a number of years in exile, his funeral was a national event and he was buried in the Panthéon.

One of the most important of French Romantic writers, Hugo was a poet, dramatist and novelist. His best known works include Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.



Ya gotta have friends…

Sophie, her grandfather and her boyfriend
Sophie, her grandfather and her boyfriend

Friendship is one of life’s greatest rewards. When moving, there is frequently a shift. Some people stay in our lives regardless of where we are and for some, the distance proves to be too much. When someone has been part of our life, they will always be a part in memory if not more. Yet the space that was once occupied by the “old crowd” is available for new faces, arms, hands, smiles and different perspectives.  Wherever you go in life, there are wonderful people who, if you are open to them, will walk along side you. Despite my still stumbling French, I am indeed a most fortunate person to have found so many friends. Let me introduce you to a few!


mais oui

my hands empty

Alain et Liliane
Alain et Liliane

  on arrival

  en France

  yet my palms

  open as

  mon coeur

  armed with smiles

  eyes wide open

  sincère mais espiègle

  an invitation to all

Rita & Jerry visiting from Sacramento for Carnaval!
Rita & Jerry visiting from Sacramento for Carnaval!


for some

six ans plus tard

ces mains

mon coeur

seem to overflow

yet yielding to welcome

Claude & Annie
Claude & Annie

  each new friend

  je gagne

  perhaps it was the mischief

  dans mes yeux





A few friends from choir
A few friends from choir
Peter & Serge
Peter & Serge
Mirelle & Sabine
Mirelle & Sabine
Christian & Henri
Christian & Henri
Valerié & Nadine
Valerié & Nadine
 Mademoiselle Amber & maman Audrey
Mademoiselle Amber & maman Audrey


Exposition: La Petite Galerie

Left: Annegret Gröene  Right:Camille Maître
Left: Annegret Gröene Right: Camille Maître

What a treat! The opening night of an exposition of the art of Annegret Gröene combined with the poetry of  Camille Maître.  Camille read a selection of works from the book  Poésie – Imagination. The book was a collaboration between the two artists.

Apéros served in the courtyard include wines, juices and sweet and savoury morsels.

Annegret paints from a vivid and whimsical imagination! She delights the eyes and the response from the crowd is smiles of delight. She charms the viewer with each brushstroke. Please take a moment and click on the photos to enlarge them.

What a challenge for any poet to take on writing the paintings. As a poet myself, I know how daunting it can be to interpret the works of an artist trying to capture the feeling.

Camille is up to the challenge and delivers without hesitation. His poems capture the feeling and tells us what he finds in these whimsical paintings.


So that you can enjoy more of Annegret’s delightful work, I shall give over to photos.  Please don’t forget to click over the photos to enlarge them. Annegret’s website:





Gallery owner, Annegret and Camille
Gallery owner, Annegret and Camille
Poet: Camille Maître


L’ Art Caché

L’ Art Caché
L’ Art Caché

L’ Art Caché or Hide Art. Once a year, artists in the area come together in the small village of Albas (Pop: 74) and show their work. While there are art shows all over France all year round, this one is close to home and lots of fun. A chance to meet artists you haven’t met before and see what the ones you know have been up to.

Of course there is always food on offer from a free apéritif to a sit-down meal with art lovers and the artists themselves. Patric who appeared at the recent Bio Marché was there with his fiddle, a choir, animations for the children all topped off with a large dinner in the evening.

This is the third year that I have attended (and posted) this event and each year and delighted to see what is available. With the exception of the performance artists/ installation arts, the artists are available and happy to discuss their work.

Open up here!
Open up here!

I do hope that you enjoy the work presented here and that you find some inspiration for your own creative endeavors. Personally, I can barely wait to get back to my brushes and oils.

Perhaps a follow-up post is needed to include more of the photos from yesterday’s event.



Not all work is hidden...
Not all work is hidden…
Allégorie du souffle 9m x 10m
Allégorie du souffle         
9m x 10m
Books of poetry & art by Annegret Groene
Books of poetry & art by
Annegret Groene
Artist Corneilus Blum -  The Flying Dutchman Dreams
Artist Corneilus Blum –
The Flying Dutchman Dreams

LINDA BASTIDE: Ambassadeur à Narbonne – Ambassadeur Culturel Européen à Logrono

Linda Bastide
Linda Bastide

Linda Bastide is a popular poet from the town of Narbonne. Her numerous books of poetry have been translated to a number of languages including, Spanish, Romanian, Italian and English. She is member of  l’ Académie Française and Ambassador to République de Montmartre.

L’ Académie Française was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu and is the pre-eminent French Learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie consists of forty members who are known as immortels (immortals) and they elected by the Académie itself and serve for life.

Some of Linda's work
Some of Linda’s work

République de Montmartre was founded in 1921 by the most famous artists in Montmartre and continues its charitable and cultural actions. Thanks to the voluntary commitment of its members, citizens, members of parliament, consuls, ambassadors and ministers, it works in aid of disadvantaged children and bringing together visual artists, writers and musicians. This beautiful and great institution ensures that the rebellious yet human spirit on which the legend of Montmartre is built is preserved, while remaining loyal to its motto: Rejoice in doing good!

She is soft spoken, warm and ready with a smile. Most of all, her poetry is a delight to the senses. It was a treat to see her in my village today and gave me an opportunity to obtain another one of her books and chat.

A selection from her latest book: 13 pas dans le sable / 13 steps in the sand …


Depuis longtemps je marche,

13 pas dans le sable
13 pas dans le sable

je vais où va le nuage,

je vais où est le soleil,

je veux garder le fil de l’ombre

dans le creux du chemin

bariolé  de voyages, où, peut-être, tu es…


I walk for a long time,

I’m going where the cloud goes,

I’m going where the sun is

I want to keep track of the shadow,

in the hollow path

jumbled I travel, where, perhaps, you are…

Linda in Durban Corbieres 20/05/2013



One of many newspaper articles about this poet
One of many newspaper articles about this poet


My personal copies of her work, to date!
My personal copies of her work, to date!

Fabrezan: Charles Cros – Inventor & Poet

Musée Charles Cros
Musée Charles Cros

Born Émile-Hortensius-Charles Cros on 1 October, 1842, in the small village of Fabrezan, France which is located in the Department Aude in the Languedoc-Roussillon.

Charles Cros was a highly respected poet and inventor. Among his work were various methods of photography including a process for color photos and improvements in telegraph and recorded sound technology.

Charles Cros worked on reproducing sounds which were engraved on a diaphragm. He gave his invention the name Paléophone and submitted his plans to the Academy of Sciences in Paris on 30 April, 1877. In this document he details his method. The letter was read to the public 3 December that same year.  When translated, his hypothesis is that a


method of sensing oscillation of a membrane then with that tracing, re-create the oscillation with consideration for its strength and extent.

These findings were published on 10 October, 1877. The American inventor, Thomas Edison premiered a working model before Cros had a chance to do so. Mr. Edison’s succeeded in patenting his phonograph in January of 1878. There is nothing to indicate that either had previous knowledge of the others work.

Among his published works were:

Solution générale du problème de la photographie des couleurs (1869- non-fiction)

Poetry: Le coffret de santal (1873 and 1879), Plainte (1873), Le Fleuve


(1874), La Vision du Grand Canal des Deux Mers (1888) and Le Collier de griffes (posthumous, 1908)

Among his friends were the poet Arthur Rimbaud and the artist Édouard Manet. Ernest Coquelin took Cros’ poem, The Kippered Herring as his inspiration to create what he called monologues, short theatrical pieces. A format that has been copied by countless others.

L’Académie Charles Cros, which is the French equivalent of the US Recording Academy was named in his honor.

He died in Paris on 9 August, 1881





Charles Cros











Meditations on visiting Atelier Cézanne

Entrance: Atelier Cézanne
Expo: Paul Cézanne 2006 Aix-en-Provence

Of all the things I have seen in my visiting and living here in la belle France, the most unforgettable  moments were spent in Atelier  Cézanne. A magical experience which left me in a trance like state with the hair standing up on the back of my neck. It was as if the master had just stepped out and would return at any moment.

After returning to California, a friend asked me to write a poem about Art and France. My first response is that they could not be separated. Art is the loom that the tapestry of France was woven upon. The following poem was the result of that request and has been published previously in an anthology.

“Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one’s sensations.”  – Paul Cézanne

“There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other.”  – Paul Cézanne

“Don’t be an art critic. Paint. There lies salvation.”  – Paul Cézanne

Meditations on visiting Atelier Cézanne


One hundred years

After his death

The doors to his shrine

Open to the masses

I but a privileged pilgrim

A witness – I inhale deeply

The plethora of scent

Aging fruits

A wicker basket

Darkened by harvests of the past

A long shelf balanced

Across the western wall

Dusquenoy’s cupid keeps company

With the three skulls of death

Enlightenment radiates

From the northern exposure

A burst of light

Color spreads wantonly

I am humbled in each direction

Le choeur fantôme

Intone hymns of praise


Peaches, apples and summers long ago

And talk of the fields they have known

Stars they raised up to

Rain, love of sun

Dreams of freshness of an old apple

Home is Aix-en-Provence


He paints their secrets

With celestial vision

And transparency


En français


Méditation en Visitant l’Atelier de Cézanne


Cent Années

Après sa mort

Les portes de son sanctuarie sacré

Ouvrent au public

Pas un pèlerin privilégié

Mais un témoin

Profondement j’ai à inhaler

Un plethora de parfum

Dans un panier noirci en osier

À cause de

Plusieurs récoltes passées

Accompagné de trios cranes de mort

L’ange Cupidon de Dusquenoy a pose

Sur un rayon qui

À travers le mur occidental est allongé

Grâce à l’ exposition boréale

L’éclaircissement a rayonné

Un jet de lumière don’t la couleur

S’est répandue gratuitement en effet

Le choeur fantôme

Entonne l’hymne à féléciter

Les fragrances , les pêches, les pommmes

Le long des Étés

Sont connus des champs

Les étoiles au ciel despersées

La pluie, l’amour du soleil

Les reveries de la fraicheur d’une vieille

Pomme au passé

Sainte-Victorie d’Aix-en-Provence

Est son pays

Il peint leurs secrets

Avec la vue céleste

Et transparente

Traduit par Le Si Dong

Previously published in Flowers of love/fleurs d’amour Anthology Vietnamese International Poetry Society Volume XII 2008