And the Rain Returns . . .

Musing in Spring: Christina Bartolomeo

“The poet Swinburne said that spring begins ‘blossom by blossom’.”

Art for Spring – Part I of V: Vladimir Migachev (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Forest 1”

A Poem for Today

“One of the Monkeys”
By Nicholas Johnson

I’m one of the monkeys they’ve got typing
in a room full of monkeys. It’s a play
Shakespeare wrote back in the old days
they want us to write again. So we’re writing
a play we never read. They keep inviting
strangers to watch us and the strangers say:
“They wrote ‘to be or nutti to be’!” They stay
too long if we write something exciting
but the bananas flow like wine. We know
it’s a crazy, morbid, ranting play, a stew
full of murder, love, but with a noble feel.
Shocked, I see hack monkeys come and monkeys go.
One keeper killed my father. What should I do?
I’m watching him. My teeth are as sharp as steel.

Art for Spring – Part II of V: Thomas Eakins (American, 1844-1916)

Below – “Arcadia”

Musings in Spring: Kevin Hearne

“I forgot how good it feels to be rooted. And to be rooted is not the same thing at all as being tied down. To be rooted is to say, here I am nourished and here will I grow, for I have found a place where every sunrise shows me how to be more than what I was yesterday, and I need not wander to feel the wonder of my blessing. And when you are rooted, defending that space ceases to be an obligation or a duty and becomes more of a desire.”

Art for Spring – Part III of V: John William Waterhouse (English, 1849-1917)

Below – “The Magic Circle”

Musings in Spring: Thornton Wilder

“Throughout the hours of the night, though there had been few to hear it, the whole sky had been loud with the singing of these constellations.”

Below – The night sky in April 2017.

Art for Spring – Part IV of V: Edouard Manet (French, 1832-1883)

Below – “Still Life, Lilac Bouquet”

A Second Poem for Today

“The Dogs at Live Oak Beach, Santa Cruz”
By Alicia Ostriker

As if there could be a world
Of absolute innocence
In which we forget ourselves

The owners throw sticks
And half-bald tennis balls
Toward the surf
And the happy dogs leap after them
As if catapulted—

Black dogs, tan dogs,
Tubes of glorious muscle—

Pursuing pleasure
More than obedience
They race, skid to a halt in the wet sand,
Sometimes they’ll plunge straight into
The foaming breakers

Like diving birds, letting the green turbulence
Toss them, until they snap and sink

Teeth into floating wood
Then bound back to their owners
Shining wet, with passionate speed
For nothing,
For absolutely nothing but joy.

Art for Spring – Part V of V: Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1967)

Below – “Sea Turtle”

Musings in Spring: Mark Doty

“And, I think, this greening does thaw at the edges, at least, of my own cold season. Joy sneaks in: listening to music, riding my bicycle, I catch myself feeling, in a way that’s as old as I am but suddenly seems unfamiliar, light. I have felt so heavy for so long. At first I felt odd- as if I shouldn’t be feeling this lightness, that familiar little catch of pleasure in the heart which is inexplicable, though a lovely passage of notes or the splendidly turned petal of a tulip has triggered it. It’s my buoyancy, part of what keeps me alive: happy, suddenly with the concomitant experience of a sonata and the motion of the shadows of leaves. I have the desire to be filled with sunlight, to soak my skin in as much of it as I can drink up, after the long interior darkness of this past season, the indoor vigil, in this harshest and darkest of winters, outside and in.”

Mexican Art – Rufino Tamayo

In the words of one writer, “Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) was a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage, born in Oaxaca de Juarez, Mexico. Tamayo was active in the mid-20th century in Mexico and New York, painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences.”

Below – “Moon Dog”; “Landscape with Moon”; “Watermelon #1”; “Lion and Horse”; “Children Playing with Fire”; “Tres Personages Cantando.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Leda and the Swan”
By William Butler Yeats

A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.

How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?

A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

Below – Cecil French Salkeld (Irish, 1908-1968): “Leda and the Swan”

Contemporary American Art – Kyle Polzin

In the words of one writer, “Born on January 16, 1974, Kyle Polzin grew up in South Texas, and began developing his artistic skills at a young age with the guidance of his father. Brought up around horses and the Texas coast, Kyle grew to appreciate the beauty and heritage of his Texas surroundings which is reflected in his art. He also worked closely with his grandfathers who were both skilled carpenters, and through their teachings, learned the meaning of craftsmanship and the reward of creating with your hands. In 1992 Kyle began his formal training in fine art at Victoria College with emphasis in oil painting. During this time, he participated in instructional sessions under the master painter Dalhart Windberg, who became his longtime mentor. After college Kyle worked as a graphic artist and web designer, while painting in his free time. As his popularity and success as a painter grew, he switched to painting full time in 2000. Kyle has had numerous sold out shows and his work has been featured in Art of the West, Southwest Art, Western Art Collector, Texas Outdoors Journal, and numerous other publications. Ducks Unlimited honored him as Sponsor Artist for the state of Texas in 2007 and as Texas State Artist for 2010. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Leigh along with their two young daughters.”

Below – “Five Figs”; “The Underdog”; “Petite Flourish”; “Tiny Treasures”; “Cowboy Canteen”; “Shades of Silver.”

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