And So I Begin Another Year in This World . . .

“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children.”

Art for Spring – Part I of V: Piao Zhekui (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “The Path Home”

A Poem for Today

“Summer Mowing”
By Jennifer Gray

He has transformed
his Tonka dump truck
into a push mower, using

lumber scraps and duct tape
to construct a handle
on the front end of the dump box.

One brave screw
holds the makeshift
contraption together.

All summer they outline
the edges of these acres,
first Daddy, and then,

behind him
this small echo, each
dodging the same stumps,

pausing to slap a mosquito,
or rest in the shade,
before once again pacing

out into the light,
where first one,
and then the other,

leans forward to guide the mowers
along the bright edges
of this familiar world.

Art for Spring – Part II of V: Thomas Arvid (American, contemporary)

Below – “Draped”

Musings in Spring: Anna Quindlen

“I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.”

Art for Spring – Part III of V: Henry Asencio (American, contemporary)

Below – “Day Dream”

A Second Poem for Today

“River”
By Ginger Murchison

Late afternoons, we’d tuck up our hems
under Minisa Bridge, scrape our white knees
on scrub brush and drowned trees to slide

down the dirt bank past milk-weed
gone to seed, cattails and trash to sit on stones
at the edge of the river and giggle and smoke,

waiting to wolf-whistle North High’s rowing team.
In the shadows where the milk-chocolate river
unfolded, ooze between our toes, we’d strip,

risk long-legged insects, leeches and mothers
for the silt slick on our thighs, the air thick
with the smell of honeysuckle, mud—the rest

of the day somewhere downstream. We didn’t
know why, but none of us wanted
to go home to polite kitchens and mothers

patiently waiting for what happened next,
the way women have always waited for hunter husbands,
kept vigils and prayed at the entrance of mines.

Below – Sally Cummings Chiseler: “Skinny Dipping”

Art for Spring – Part IV of V: Rita Asfour (American, contemporary)

Below – “Fruit Still Life”

Musings in Spring: Georgia O’Keeffe

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

Below – Georgia O’Keeffe: “Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1”

Art for Spring – Part V of V: Ashot (British, contemporary)

Below – “Going Home”

A Third Poem for Today

“With Spring In Our Flesh”
By Don Welch

With spring in our flesh
the cranes come back,
funneling into a north
cold and black.

And we go out to them,
go out into the town,
welcoming them with shouts,
asking them down.

The winter flies away
when the cranes cross.
It falls into the north,
homeward and lost.

Let no one call it back
when the cranes fly,
silver birds, red-capped,
down the long sky.

Contemporary American Art – Michael Atkinson

In the words of one writer, “Michael Atkinson was born in Texas. He started painting as a child in the northwest Texas town of Lubbock. Attracted early to the study of architecture, he earned a degree from Texas Tech University, then taught and worked in the field for a time. He soon realized that he was most drawn to the design and presentation aspects of his profession. In the summer of 1974, he took time off to concentrate on his painting. The response to his work was so great; he made the decision to paint full time. A painting by Michael Atkinson is immediately recognizable by its composition He feels that watercolor permits spontaneity and freedom and can be made to do things on its own utilizing texture, density of color, variation of light and dark. White space is also an essential element of the Atkinson look. In addition to his dazzling medium of watercolor, Atkinson demonstrates his excellent artistic ability with beautiful bronze sculpture. His bronze pieces mirror the electricity of his two-dimensional work, earning a grand reception from his legions of collectors.”

Below – “Spring Thaw”; “Cliff Falls”; “Cindy” (bronze); “Walpi”; “Sacred Mesa”; “Desert Winds”; “Corridors of Time.”

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