It’s the Little Things
Alan Bern boldly takes the simplest of items and finds a way to express the preciousness they hold! His photographs and poetry inspire that everything has value.
Photographs often capture and present moments. To collect these moments and for the great good health of body and mind, I take walks— yes, I walk my neighborhood streets and also beyond— and I capture moments, sometimes with the camera on my phone, sometimes with a few words, and sometimes with both. Snap snap. I regularly walk in my neighborhood where I have lived for 95% of my life. And, yes, it’s often awfully familiar, but there is always something new to see. An empty paper cup among the plants; plastic-wrapped newspapers posing as footsteps on a rock stairway. Snap snap.
Poems, too, can capture and present these moments— especially short poems such as haiku and haiku-like poems. I capture and presents such moments in both my photographs and my poems, and sometimes I combines the two in what are called photo-haiga.* At other times I merge both into longer narratives that may tell a story, but more often present a flow of images and words that magnify and transmit thoughts, feelings, and dream-traces.
*”Haiga [paintings] are typically painted by haiku poets (haijin), and often accompanied by a haiku poem.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiga— with Alan’s photos standing in for the paintings.
Retired children’s librarian Alan Bern’s poetry books: No no the saddest and Waterwalking in Berkeley, Fithian Press; greater distance, Lines & Faces, his press with artist Robert Woods, linesandfaces.com. Alan has poems, stories, and photos published in a variety of online and print publications from which he has won awards. Recent photos published: unearthedesf.com/alan-bern and https://wanderlust-journal.com/2020/07/01/around-the-few-blocks-nearby/. Alan performs with dancer/choreographer Lucinda Weaver as PACES and with musicians from Composing Together, composingtogether.org.