Wandering in Woodacre – 24 June 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 24 June 1854 – Eleanor Norcross, an American painter.

Below – “Woman in a (Paris) Garden”; “Jeune fille a la robe rouge”; “The blacksmith shop, Chester Springs, PA’; “Tapestry”; “My Studio”; “Arte Moderne.”

A Poem for Today

“HeTaught Me to Drive”
By Marjorie Saiser

The road wasn’t a proper road; it was
two ruts across a pasture and down
into a dry creek bed and up

the other side, a cow path really,
soft sand up to the hub caps.
‘You didn’t gun it at the right time,’

he said. I knew that before he
said it, but I didn’t know how to get
the old Chevrolet out of the crevice

I had wedged it into. ‘You’ll figure it out,’
he said, and then he took a walk,
left me to my own devices, which until

that moment had included tears.
My face remained nearly dry,
as was the gas tank when he finally

returned, took a shovel out of the trunk,
and moved enough sand from around
the rear tires so he could rock

back and forth and get a little traction.
That country had very little traction;
it had mourning doves, which lay their eggs

on the ground, a few twigs for a nest,
no fluff. Mourning dove. Even the name
sounds soft. Even the notes they coo,

perched on a fence wire. But they are
hatched on the dirt. When they leave the shell,
the wind is already blowing their feathers dry.

Below – Laurie Arends: “Rise – Mourning Dove” (photograph)

This Date in Art History: Born 24 June 1865 -Robert Henri, an American painter.

Below- “Snow in New York”; “The Blue Kimono”; “Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney”; “Edna Smith in a Japanese Wrap”; “Tam Gan”; “The Beach Hat.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 June 1842 – Ambrose Bierce, an American short story writer, essayist, journalist, and author of “The Devil’sDictionary.”

Some quotes from “The Devil’s Dictionary”:

“Admiration, n.  Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.”
“Alliance, n.  In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pocket that they cannot separately plunder a third.”
“Applause, n.  The echo of a platitude.”
“Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.”
“Christian, n.  One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.”
“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”
“Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.”
“Dog, n.  A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship.”
“Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.”
“Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.”
“Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.”
“Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.”
“Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”
“Mayonnaise, n.  One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.”
“Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.”
“Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.”
“Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.”
“Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.”
“Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.”
“Telephone, n.  An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Richard Kaminski

Below- “Barn Swallows”; “Idaho”; “Copper & Plums”; “Orange In Foil”; “American Kestrel & Skull”; “Autumn Dove.”

A Poem for Today

“When Your Children Cut Their Hands”
by Margaret Atwood

Your children cut their hands on glass
by reaching through the mirror
where the beloved one was hiding.

You weren’t expecting this:
you thought they wanted happiness,
not laceration.

You thought the happiness
would appear simply, without effort
or any kind of work,

like a bird call
or a pathside flower
or a school of silvery fish

but now they’ve cut themselves
on love, and cry in secret,
and your own hands go numb

because there’s nothing you can do,
because you didn’t tell them not to
because you didn’t think

you needed to
and now there’s all this broken glass
and your children stand red-handed

still clutching at moons and echoes
and emptiness and shadow,
the way you did.

Below – Nik Ad: “Broken Mirror”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 23 June 2021

Contemporary Russian Art – Mariia Chernyshova

Below – “Bus Stop II”; “Portrait of a girl in pink”; “Estuary”; “Ghosts”; “Washing”; “By The Fire.”

A Poem for Today

“Passing Through”
by Ted Kooser

I had driven into one side of a city,
and through it, and was on the way out
on a four-lane, caught up in the traffic,
when I happened to glance to my right
where a man stood alone smoking,
fixed in the shade of a windowless
warehouse, leaning back into a wall
with one shoe cocked against it,
the other one flat on the pavement.
He was beside me for only an instant,
wearing a short-sleeved yellow shirt
and gray work pants, as the hand
that held the cigarette swept out
and away, and he turned to watch it
as with the tip of a finger he tapped
once at the ash, which began to drift
into that moment already behind us,
as I, with the others, sped on.

Below – Prisac Nicolae: “Smoking man #2”

Contemporary American Art – Karen Clark

Below – “Spring”; “The Wanderers”; “Night of the Falling Stars”;
“Hollywood Hills”; “Translucent #7”; “The Last Empress” (photograph).

A Poem for Today

“For Paul”
by Patrick Phillips

I can see you through the bonfire, with us.
A fifth of Old Crow circling the dark.

Where did that whole life go? In Texas
the chemo inches toward your heart,

things always dwindling to just the two of us,
a crumpled cigarette, a distant car:

our voices, at dawn, so clearly posthumous.
Woodsmoke rising to the ashy stars.

Below – Andrei Engelman: “Sky fire, earth fire”

Contemporary American Art – Katryn Bowe

Below – “Cosmos Felix”; “Hiroshi”; “Rainier alight”; “Secours Scape”; “Cosmos MP”; “Ansel’s Fall.”

A Poem for Today

“What Makes a Pearl”
by Emily Rose Cole

When she died, I took my mother’s socks,
those fuzzy polka-dotted ones she’d worn

in hospice. I wore them all through winter.

Maybe that’s creepy. But is it really so different
from the necklace she willed to me,

that single pearl clinging to its strand of silver?

The necklace isn’t creepy. Every day for a year
I hung it over my heart, even in the shower,

even when it felt heavy as a beggar’s first coin.

I want to say that having these things was like having a scar
but worse. In winter, socks are as inevitable as scars,

except there’s more choice in it: when I was cold,
I chose which socks, and whose.

But I’m wrong. These tokens I harvested
from her deathbed are more like the pearl,

or rather, what makes a pearl:

that piece of sand, the irritant that the nacre
builds itself around, that tiny, everyday object

that, little by little, learns to glow.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 22 June 2021

Contemporary Dutch Art – Marie-Helene Stokkink

Below – “young eagle”; “Raccoon in the night”; “Blue Geese”; “The sheep with the black face”; “Koala”; “femme nut Sur le dos.”

A Poem for Today

“Sugar Water in Winter”
by Christie Towers

A bowl of rose water dreams itself empty
on the radiator: It’s December and we can
hardly afford the heat, our milk money
crinkling hungry over the cold counter
of our convenience store, the very last
of our cash for creamer, for pleasantries,
for cheap tea and cigarettes, for the barely-
there scent of roses burning softly. We trade
our hungers for hearth, for the clank and hiss
of warmth. Small fires, these, but even we,
in our clamorous poverty, demand pleasure:
steal sugar, our neighbor’s flowers, and never,
ever are caught thankless in better weather.

Contemporary American Art – Wayne Pruse

Below- “Rainy Days”; “The Lady In The Lake”; “Sleeping Beauty”; “Adoration”; “Safe Slumber”; “Who’s Who”; “Burch”; “Secrets Make You Sick.”

A Poem for Today

“Glorious World”
by Hermann Hesse

I feel it again and again, no matter
Whether I am old or young:
A mountain range in the night,
On the balcony a silent woman,
A white street in the moonlight curving gently away
That tears my heart with  longing out of my body.
Oh burning world, oh white woman on the balcony,
Baying dog in the valley, train rolling far away,
What liars you were, how bitterly you deceived me,
Yet you turn out to be any sweetest dream and illusion.
Often I tried the frightening way of “reality,”
Where things that count are profession, law, fashion, finance.
But disillusioned and freed I fled away alone
To the other side, the place of dreams and blessed folly.
Sultry wind in the tree at night, dark gypsy woman,
World full of foolish yearning and the poet’s breath,
Glorious world I always come back to,
Where your heat lightning beckons me,
where your voice

Below – Michael Vincent Manolo: “Tales from the Dream Nomad” (photograph)

Contemporary Chinese Art – Jiyou Piao: Part I of II.

Below (sculpture) – “Butterfly”; “Water mist”; “The Nightingale and the rosea”; “The Nightingale and the rosea”; “Nightingale and roses”; “Clear Air.”

A Poem for Today

“When You Have Forgotten Sunday: The Love Story”
by Gwendolyn Brooks

—And when you have forgotten the bright bedclothes on a Wednesday and a Saturday,
And most especially when you have forgotten Sunday—
When you have forgotten Sunday halves in bed,
Or me sitting on the front-room radiator in the limping afternoon
Looking off down the long street
To nowhere,
Hugged by my plain old wrapper of no-expectation
And nothing-I-have-to-do and I’m-happy-why?
And if-Monday-never-had-to-come—
When you have forgotten that, I say,
And how you swore, if somebody beeped the bell,
And how my heart played hopscotch if the telephone rang;
And how we finally went in to Sunday dinner,
That is to say, went across the front room floor to the ink-spotted table in the southwest corner
To Sunday dinner, which was always chicken and noodles
Or chicken and rice
And salad and rye bread and tea
And chocolate chip cookies—
I say, when you have forgotten that,
When you have forgotten my little presentiment
That the war would be over before they got to you;
And how we finally undressed and whipped out the light and flowed into bed,
And lay loose-limbed for a moment in the week-end
Bright bedclothes,
Then gently folded into each other—
When you have, I say, forgotten all that,
Then you may tell,
Then I may believe
You have forgotten me well.

Below – Il Shan Cong: “level soft morning cream bed seres no.0303”

Contemporary Chinese Art – Jiyou Piao: Part II of II.

Below (drawings) – “Blue leaves”; “Blue magnolia”; “Nightingale and roses”; “The Nightingale and the rose”; “Blue leaves”; “Basket of feathers.”

A Poem for Today

“When the Red Goose Wakes”
by Marilyn Dorf

The sky a pure river of dawn
and the red goose wakes, the
breeze weaving, interweaving
leaves newly turned.
In the valley a song,
with no one to sing it,
some voice of the past
or the future. The red goose
sets her wings and answering
some promise she’s made
to the WILD, enters that river
of sky, neck stretched
toward heaven, maybe beyond,
tail nothing but a carnelian
nubbin fading to sunglow.
And you, stunned to a silence
the size of the world.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 21 June 2021

Contemporary Colombian Art – Johanna Acosta

Below – “Moon Path”; “Inner Sense”; “Fragmented Re-Born”; “Innocence meets wisdom”; “Floracion”; “Primal Wisdom.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 21 June 1942 – Henry Taylor, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“For William Stafford”
by Henry Taylor

30 August 1993

Someone we love, old friend, has telephoned
to let me know you’re gone – and so you are.
I touch the steady books; my mind casts back,
then forth, and says, as you said once, so long –
I look toward seeing you everywhere.

Below – William Stafford, an American poet.

Contemporary Romanian Art – Liviu Mihai

Below – “Exotic”; “Cloudy Sunday”; “The Kiss”; “In a dream”; “Evening light”; “Inn my room.”

A Poem for Today

“A Drink of Water”
by Jeffrey Harrison

When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;

And when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,

because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,

which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time . . .
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.

Contemporary British Art – Andy Allen

Below – “Isolating”; “Underpass”; “Slunna”; “Midnight Swim”; “The Prospector”; “Cape Doom”

A Poem for Today

“Old Friends”
by Freya Manfred

Old friends are a steady spring rain,
or late summer sunshine edging into fall,
or frosted leaves along a snowy path—
a voice for all seasons saying, ‘I know you.’
The older I grow, the more I fear I’ll lose my old friends,
as if too many years have scrolled by
since the day we sprang forth, seeking each other.

Old friend, I knew you before we met.
I saw you at the window of my soul—
I heard you in the steady millstone of my heart
grinding grain for our daily bread.
You are sedimentary, rock-solid cousin earth,
where I stand firmly, astonished by your grace and truth.
And gratitude comes to me and says:

“Tell me anything and I will listen.
Ask me anything, and I will answer you.”

Below – Bruce Johnson: “Three Old Friends Having Dimsum”

Contemporary Finnish Art – Serguei Zlenko

Below – “In the dressing room”; “The emerald beads”; “Botanical garden”; “At the old pier”; “Gemelli”; “Girl from Madeira.”

A Poem for Today

by Holly J. Hughes

Only a beige slat of sun
above the horizon, like a shade
pulled not quite down. Otherwise,
clouds. Sea rippled here and
there. Birds reluctant to fly.
The mind wants a shaft of sun to
stir the grey porridge of clouds,
an osprey to stitch sea to sky
with its barred wings, some dramatic
music: a symphony, perhaps
a Chinese gong.

But the mind always
wants more than it has—
one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed
with the moon; one more hour
to get the words right; one
more chance for the heart in hiding
to emerge from its thicket
in dried grasses—as if this quiet day
with its tentative light weren’t enough,
as if joy weren’t strewn all around.

Below – Twyla Gettert: “Ocean Sky”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 20 June 2021: The First Day of Summer

20 June 2021 – The First Day of Summer

Below – Stuart Mortimer: “Summer Solstice”
Greeting Summer

Below – Vahe Yeremyan: “Vibrant Summer”

Art for Summer – Stephanie de Malherbe: “Complicity IV”

A Poem for Summer

“Sonnet XVIII: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”
by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Below – Ludmilla Ukrow: “A summer day”

Art for Summer – Tanja Vetter: “Islands of Luck”

A Poem for Summer

“The Woman Who Turned Down a Date with a Cherry Farmer”
by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Fredonia, NY

Of course I regret it. I mean there I was under umbrellas of fruit
so red they had to be borne of Summer, and no other season.
Flip-flops and fishhooks. Ice cubes made of lemonade and sprigs
of mint to slip in blue glasses of tea. I was dusty, my ponytail
all askew and the tips of my fingers ran, of course, ‘red’

from the fruitwounds of cherries I plunked into my bucket
and still—he must have seen some small bit of loveliness
in walking his orchard with me. He pointed out which trees
were sweetest, which ones bore double seeds—puffing out
the flesh and oh the surprise on your tongue with two tiny stones

(a twin spit), making a small gun of your mouth. Did I mention
my favorite color is red? His jeans were worn and twisty
around the tops of his boot; his hands thick but careful,
nimble enough to pull fruit from his trees without tearing
the thin skin; the cherry dust and fingerprints on his eyeglasses.

I just know when he stuffed his hands in his pockets, said
‘Okay. Couldn’t hurt to try?’ and shuffled back to his roadside stand
to arrange his jelly jars and stacks of buckets, I had made
a terrible mistake. I just know my summer would’ve been
full of pies, tartlets, turnovers—so much jubilee.

Below- Marina Radius: “Cherries in a bowl”

Art for Summer – Cindy Press: “Summer In The City”

A Poem for Summer

“At Noon”
by Reginald Gibbons

The thick-walled room’s cave-darkness,
cool in summer, soothes
by saying, This is the truth, not the taut
cicada-strummed daylight.
Rest here, out of the flame—the thick air’s
stirred by the fan’s four
slow-moving spoons; under the house the stone
has its feet in deep water.
Outside, even the sun god, dressed in this life
as a lizard, abruptly rises
on stiff legs and descends blasé toward the shadows.

Below – Wushuang Tong: “A Little Lizards’s Life No.2”

Art for Summer – Brigette Yoshiko Pruchnow: “Roccamare”

A Poem for Summer

“In the Mushroom Summer”
by David Mason

Colorado turns Kyoto in a shower,
mist in the pines so thick the crows delight
(or seem to), winging in obscurity.
The ineffectual panic of a squirrel
who chattered at my passing gave me pause
to watch his Ponderosa come and go—
long needles scratching cloud. I’d summited
but knew it only by the wildflower meadow,
the muted harebells, paintbrush, gentian,
scattered among the locoweed and sage.
Today my grief abated like water soaking
underground, its scar a little path
of twigs and needles winding ahead of me
downhill to the next bend. Today I let
the rain soak through my shirt and was unharmed.

Below – Elena Furman: “Dreaming”

Art for Summer – Christy Powers: “long summer lunches”

A Poem for Summer

“Summer of the Ladybirds”
by Vivian Smith

Can we learn wisdom watching insects now,
or just the art of quiet observation?
Creatures from the world of leaf and flower
marking weather’s variation.

The huge dry summer of the ladybirds
(we thought we’d never feel such heat again)
started with white cabbage butterflies
sipping at thin trickles in the drain.

Then one by one the ladybirds appeared
obeying some far purpose or design.
We marvelled at their numbers in the garden,
grouped together, shuffling in a line.

Each day a few strays turned up at the table,
the children laughed to see them near the jam
exploring round the edges of a spoon.
One tried to drink the moisture on my arm.

How random and how frail seemed their lives,
and yet how they persisted, refugees,
saving energy by keeping still
and hiding in the grass and in the trees.

And then one day they vanished overnight.
Clouds gathered, storm exploded, weather cleared.
And all the wishes that we might have had
in such abundance simply disappeared.

Below – Shivayogi Mogali: “A Girl With Ladybugs”

Art for Summer – Gregg Chadwick: “The Strand”

A Poem for Summer

“Mid-August at Sourdough Mountain Lookout”
by Gary Snyder

Down valley a smoke haze
Three days heat, after five days rain
Pitch glows on the fir-cones
Across rocks and meadows
Swarms of new flies.

I cannot remember things I once read
A few friends, but they are in cities.
Drinking cold snow-water from a tin cup
Looking down for miles
Through high still air.

Below – A photograph of Sourdough Mountain Lookout.

Art for Summer – Hanna Ilczyszyn: “Garden”

This Date in Literary History: Born 20 June 1910 – Josephine Johnson, an American novelist, poet, essayist, author of “Now in November,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Some quotes from the work of Josephine Johnson:

“The earth was overwhelmed with beauty and indifferent to it, and I went with a heart ready to crack for its unbearable loveliness.”
“I like to pretend that the years alter and revalue, but begin to see that time does nothing but enlarge without mutation. You have a chance here–more than a chance, it is thrust upon you–to be alone and still. To look backward and forward and see with clarity. To see the years behind, the essential loneliness, and the likeness of one year to the next. The awful order of cause and effect. Root leading to stem and inevitable growth, and the same sap moving through tissue of different years, marked like the branches with inescapable scars of growth.”
“And there was the inner walking on the edge of darkness, the peering into black doorways…the unrevealed answer which must be somewhere, and yet might not be even present or hidden in that darkness..this under-life which when traced or held to was not there, and yet kept coming back and thrust up like an iron dike through the solid layers of the sane and understood. The moment of self-searching, of standing under the oaks at night and asking-What?Who? What am I?…and the moment of feeling the self gone, lost or never existent.”
“I cannot believe this is the end. Nor can I believe that death is more than the blindness of those living. And if this is only the consolation of a heart in its necessity, or that easy faith born of despair, it does not matter, since it gives us courage somehow to face the mornings. Which is as much as the heart can ask at times.”

Art for Summer – Christian Bain: “Where The Summer Never Ends”

A Poem for Summer

by Frank Ormsby

The lights come on and stay on under the trees.
Visibly a whole neighborhood inhabits the dusk,
so punctual and in place it seems to deny
dark its dominion. Nothing will go astray,
the porch lamps promise. Sudden, as though a match
failed to ignite at the foot of the garden, the first squibs
trouble the eye. Impossible not to share
that sportive, abortive, clumsy, where-are-we-now
dalliance with night, such soothing relentlessness.
What should we make of fireflies, their quick flare
of promise and disappointment, their throwaway style?
Our heads turn this way and that. We are loath to miss
such jauntiness in nature. Those fugitive selves,
winged and at random! Our flickery might-have-beens
come up form the woods to haunt us! Our yet-to-be
as tentative frolic! What do fireflies say?
That loneliness made of light becomes at last
convivial singleness? That any antic spark
cruising the void might titillate creation?
And whether they spend themselves, or go to ground,
or drift with their lights out, they have left the gloom,
for as long as our eyes take to absorb such absence,
less than it seemed, as childless and deprived
as Chaos and Old Night. But ruffled, too,
as though it unearthed some memory of light
from its long blackout, a hospitable core
fit home for fireflies, brushed by fireflies’ wings.

Below – Anthony Georgieff: “Dance of the Fireflies No. 42” (photograph)

Art for Summer – Chris Wake: “Summer Light 3”

A Poem for Summer

“The World in the Evening”
by Rachel Sherwood

As this suburban summer wanders toward dark
cats watch from their driveways — they are bored
and await miracles. The houses show, through windows
flashes of knife and fork, the blue light
of televisions, inconsequential fights
between wife and husband in the guest bathroom

voices sound like echoes in these streets
the chattering of awful boys as they plot
behind the juniper and ivy, miniature guerillas
that mimic the ancient news of the world
and shout threats, piped high across mock fences
to girls riding by in the last pieces of light

the color of the sky makes brilliant reflection
in the water and oil along the curb
deepened aqua and the sharp pure rose of the clouds
there is no sun or moon, few stars wheel
above the domestic scene — this half-lit world
still, quiet calming the dogs worried by distant alarms

there — a woman in a window washes a glass
a man across the street laughs through an open door
utterly alien, alone. There is a time, seconds between
the last light and the dark stretch ahead, when color
is lost — the girl on her swing becomes a swift
apparition, black and white flowing suddenly into night.

Below – Gerrie Severens: “Child on swing, summertime”

Art for Summer – Angie Wright: “Pure Joy”

A Poem for Summer

“Nostalgia (The Lake at Night)”
by Lloyd Schwartz

The black water.

Lights dotting the entire perimeter.

Their shaky reflections.

The dark tree line.

The plap-plapping of water around the pier.

Creaking boats.

The creaking pier.

Voices in conversation, in discussion—two men, adults—serious inflections
(the words themselves just out of reach).

A rusty screen-door spring, then the door swinging shut.

Footsteps on a porch, the scrape of a wooden chair.

Footsteps shuffling through sand, animated youthful voices (‘how many?’)— distinct, disappearing.

A sudden guffaw; some giggles; a woman’s—no, a young girl’s—sarcastic reply; someone’s assertion; a high-pitched male cackle.

Somewhere else a child laughing.


Tires whirring along a pavement… not stopping … receding.

Shadows from passing headlights.

A cat’s eyes caught in a headlight.

No moon.

Connect-the-dot constellations filling the black sky—the ladle of the Big Dipper not quite directly overhead.

The radio tower across the lake, signaling.

Muffled quacking near the shore; a frog belching; crickets, cicadas, katydids, etc.—their relentless sexual messages.

A sudden gust of wind.

Branches brushing against each other—pine, beech.

A fiberglass hull tapping against the dock.

A sudden chill.

The smell of smoke, woodstove fires.

A light going out.

A dog barking; then more barking from another part of the lake.

A burst of quiet laughter.

Someone in the distance calling someone too loud.

Steps on a creaking porch.

A screen-door spring, the door banging shut.

Another light going out (you must have just undressed for bed).

My bare feet on the splintery pier turning away from the water.

Below – Goran Petmil: “This Is Night”

Art for Summer – Hyzhyy Oleh: “summer”

A Poem for Summer

by Tony Hoagland

Sometimes I wish I were still out
on the back porch, drinking jet fuel
with the boys, getting louder and louder
as the empty cans drop out of our paws
like booster rockets falling back to Earth

and we soar up into the summer stars.
Summer. The big sky river rushes overhead,
bearing asteroids and mist, blind fish
and old space suits with skeletons inside.
On Earth, men celebrate their hairiness,

and it is good, a way of letting life
out of the box, uncapping the bottle
to let the effervescence gush
through the narrow, usually constricted neck.

And now the crickets plug in their appliances
in unison, and then the fireflies flash
dots and dashes in the grass, like punctuation
for the labyrinthine, untrue tales of sex
someone is telling in the dark, though

no one really hears. We gaze into the night
as if remembering the bright unbroken planet
we once came from,
to which we will never
be permitted to return.
We are amazed how hurt we are.
We would give anything for what we have.

Below – Allen Jones: “Night Lite”

Art for Summer – Fiona Phillips: “Koi Pond”

A Poem for Today

“Country Summer”
by Leonie Adams

Now the rich cherry, whose sleek wood,
And top with silver petals traced
Like a strict box its gems encased,
Has spilt from out that cunning lid,
All in an innocent green round,
Those melting rubies which it hid;
With moss ripe-strawberry-encrusted,
So birds get half, and minds lapse merry
To taste that deep-red, lark’s-bite berry,
And blackcap bloom is yellow-dusted.

The wren that thieved it in the eaves
A trailer of the rose could catch
To her poor droopy sloven thatch,
And side by side with the wren’s brood—
O lovely time of beggar’s luck—
Opens the quaint and hairy bud;
And full and golden is the yield
Of cows that never have to house,
But all night nibble under boughs,
Or cool their sides in the moist field.

Into the rooms flow meadow airs,
The warm farm baking smell’s blown round.
Inside and out, and sky and ground
Are much the same; the wishing star,
Hesperus, kind and early born,
Is risen only finger-far;
All stars stand close in summer air,
And tremble, and look mild as amber;
When wicks are lighted in the chamber,
They are like stars which settled there.

Now straightening from the flowery hay,
Down the still light the mowers look,
Or turn, because their dreaming shook,
And they waked half to other days,
When left alone in the yellow stubble
The rusty-coated mare would graze.
Yet thick the lazy dreams are born,
Another thought can come to mind,
But like the shivering of the wind,
Morning and evening in the corn.

Below – Anneke Zwager: “To see or not to see 5”

Art for Summer – Emelie Jegerings: “Colours of paradise”

A Poem for Summer

“The Children”
by Mark Jarman

The children are hiding among the raspberry canes.
They look big to one another, the garden small.
Already in their mouths this soft fruit
That lasts so briefly in the supermarket
Tastes like the past. The gritty wall,
Behind the veil of leaves, is hollow.
There are yellow wasps inside it. The children know.
They know the wall is hard, although it hums.
They know a lot and will not forget it soon.

When did we forget? But we were never
Children, never found where they were hiding
And hid with them, never followed
The wasp down into its nest
With a fingertip that still tingles.
We lie in bed at night, thinking about
The future, always the future, always forgetting
That it will be the past, hard and hollow,
Veiled and humming, soon enough.

Below – Diana Malivani: “At Raspberry Bush”

Art for Summer – Isabelle Joubert: “Look around you”

Welcome, Wonderful Summer

Below – William Oxer: “Coming Home”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 19 June 2021

Friends: Today is Juneteenth. In the words of one writer, 19 June 1865: “Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, Texas, United States, are finally informed of their freedom. The anniversary is still officially celebrated in Texas and 41 other contiguous states as Juneteenth.”

Contemporary British Art – Liam Symes

Below – “The jump”; “Look Away”; “Loose green”; “Abandoned slide”; “Faint landscape”; “Blending in.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 June1947 – Salman Rushdie, an award-winning Indian-English novelist, essayist, and author of “Midnight’s Children” and “The Satanic Verses.”

Some quotes from the work of Salman Rushdie:

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”
“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’m gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”
“Whenever someone who knows you disappears, you lose one version of yourself. Yourself as you were seen, as you were judged to be. Lover or enemy, mother or friend, those who know us construct us, and their several knowings slant the different facets of our characters like diamond-cutter’s tools. Each such loss is a step leading to the grave, where all versions blend and end.”
“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.”
“Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn’t exist in any declaration I have ever read.
If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people.
I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn’t occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don’t like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don’t like it, nobody is telling you to finish it.
To read a 600-page novel and then say that it has deeply offended you: well, you have done a lot of work to be offended.”
“When a reader falls in love with a book, it leaves its essence inside him, like radioactive fallout in an arable field, and after that there are certain crops that will no longer grow in him, while other, stranger, more fantastic growths may occasionally be produced.”
“A poet’s work . . . to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.”
“The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women’s rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I’m against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list — yes, even the short skirts and the dancing — are worth dying for?
The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them.
How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Kerri Palangio

Below – “Teapot with fruit”; “Green apples”; “Tangle 3”; “Beyond”; “Marina”; “Silhouette.”

A Poem for Today

“Thankful for Now”
by Todd Davis

Walking the river back home at the end
of May, locust in bloom, an oriole flitting
through dusky crowns, and the early night sky
going peach, day’s late glow the color of that fruit’s
flesh, dribbling down over everything, christening
my sons, the two of them walking before me
after a day of fishing, one of them placing a hand
on the other’s shoulder, pointing toward a planet
that’s just appeared, or the swift movement
of that yellow and black bird disappearing
into the growing dark, and now the light, pink
as a crabapple’s flower, and my legs tired
from wading the higher water, and the rocks
that keep turning over, nearly spilling me
into the river, but still thankful for now
when I have enough strength to stay
a few yards behind them, loving this time
of day that shows me the breadth
of their backs, their lean, strong legs
striding, how we all go on in this cold water,
heading home to the sound of the last few
trout splashing, as mayflies float
through the shadowed riffles.

Below – Alessio Mazzarulli: “Walking by the river”

Contemporary British Art – Ulla Plougmand

Below – “My Danish Meadow”; “River of Life”; “From Denmark with Love”; “Red Heat”; “Space Orgasm”; “Dance of the Ice Flowers.”

A Poem for Today

“White Lie”
by Austin Smith

Christmas Eves our dad would bring
Home from the farm real hay
For the reindeer that didn’t exist
And after we were finally asleep
Would get out and take the slabs
Up in his arms and carry them
Back to the bed of his pickup,
Making sure to litter the snow
With chaff so he could show us
In the morning the place where
They’d stood eating, their harness
Bells dulled by the cold, their breath
Steam, all while we were dreaming.

Contemporary French Art – Luc Josserand

Below (digital painting) – “Jehanne”; “Alcor”; “Alcor – Act II”; “Irmine & Ethereum”; “Laude”; “The Daydreams of Luana.”

A Poem for Today

“First Kiss”
By Wyatt Townley

Here you are forty years
later in a white coat
examining my ears.

All I can think
is how your tongue once
turned in the tunnel

you’re peering into.  The
fault is not in my ears,
but ‘between’ them!

No one can see that far.
But could we gaze back
through the years and dead stars

to the doorstep of my parents’ house,
you bending down with your tall mouth
to make the softest landing on mine,

having thrown off my balance
so tenderly, can you explain,
good Doctor, how to regain it?

Below – Kelly Puissegur: “First Kiss”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 18 June 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 18 June 1964 – Giorgio Morandi, an Italian painter.

Below – “Still Life”; “Still Life”; “Passage”; “Still Life”; “Still Life (The Blue Vase)”; “Landscape.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 June 1932 – Geoffrey Hill, an award-winning English poet, literary critic, and author of “Broken Hierarchies.”: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Geoffrey Hill:

“One of the things the tyrant most cunningly engineers is the gross over-simplification of language, because propaganda requires that the minds of the collective respond primitively to slogans of incitement.”
“We are difficult. Human beings are difficult. We’re difficult to ourselves, we’re difficult to each other. And we are mysteries to ourselves, we are mysteries to each other. One encounters in any ordinary day far more real difficulty than one confronts in the most ‘intellectual’ piece of work. Why is it believed that poetry, prose, painting, music should be less than we are? Why does music, why does poetry have to address us in simplified terms, when if such simplification were applied to a description of our own inner selves we would find it demeaning?
“Public toilets have a duty to be accessible, poetry does not.”
“I think art has a right — not an obligation — to be difficult if it wishes. And, since people generally go on from this to talk about elitism versus democracy, I would add that genuinely difficult art is truly democratic.”
“In my view, difficult poetry is the most democratic, because you are doing your audience the honour of supposing that they are intelligent human beings. So much of the populist poetry of today treats people as if they were fools. And that particular aspect, and the aspect of the forgetting of a tradition, go together.”
“Snooki is a bestselling author? Huh? What? I don’t know if I should dumb down my book, shoot myself or find a publisher who’ll settle for a rough draft written on a Pop-Tart and a coconut lotion handie.”
“Autumn resumes the land, ruffles the woodswith smoky wings, entangles them.”
“Thus I grind to conclusion.”

Contemporary British Art – Andrew Morris

Below- “House and Shadows”; “pickup and caravan”; “Lockhouse”; “Junction”; “Bridge”; “Depot Back Door.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 June 1932 – Geoffrey Hill, an award-winning English poet, literary critic, and author of “Broken Hierarchies.”: Part II of II.

“In Memory of Jane Fraser”
by Geoffrey Hill

When snow like sheep lay in the fold
And wind went begging at each door,
And the far hills were blue with cold,
And a cloud shroud lay on the moor,

She kept the siege. And every day
We watched her brooding over death
Like a strong bird above its prey.
The room filled with the kettle’s breath.
Damp curtains glued against the pane
Sealed time away. Her body froze
As if to freeze us all, and chain
Creation to a stunned repose.

She died before the world could stir.
In March the ice unloosed the brook
And water ruffled the sun’s hair.
Dead cones upon the alder shook.

Contemporary American Art – Ken Vrana

Below – “Coastal Winds”; “Fresh Apples”; “Home”; “Red Sky in the Morning”; “Hedges: The Lawn XI”; “No Gas.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 June 1957 – Richard Powers, an American novelist and author of “The Echo Maker” (winner of the National Book Award) and “The Overstory” (winner of the Pulitzer Prize).

Some quotes from the work of Richard Powers:

“Evil is the refusal to see one’s self in others.”
“This is not our world with trees in it. It’s a world of trees, where humans have just arrived.”
“People aren’t the apex species they think they are. Other creatures-bigger, smaller, slower, faster, older, younger, more powerful-call the shots, make the air, and eat sunlight. Without them, nothing.”
“But people have no idea what time is. They think it’s a line, spinning out from three seconds behind them, then vanishing just as fast into the three seconds of fog just ahead. They can’t see that time is one spreading ring wrapped around another, outward and outward until the thinnest skin of Now depends for its being on the enormous mass of everything that has already died.”
“You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways. But even now, after an immense journey in separate directions, that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes. “
“We found that trees could communicate, over the air and through their roots. Common sense hooted us down. We found that trees take care of each other. Collective science dismissed the idea. Outsiders discovered how seeds remember the seasons of their childhood and set buds accordingly. Outsiders discovered that trees sense the presence of other nearby life. That a tree learns to save water. That trees feed their young and synchronize their masts and bank resources and warn kin and send out signals to wasps to come and save them from attacks. Here’s a little outsider information, and you can wait for it to be confirmed. A forest knows things. They wire themselves up underground. There are brains down there, ones our own brains aren’t shaped to see. Root plasticity, solving problems and making decisions. Fungal synapses. What else do you want to call it? Link enough trees together, and a forest grows aware.”
“The Greeks had a word, xenia—guest friendship—a command to take care of traveling strangers, to open your door to whoever is out there, because anyone passing by, far from home, might be God. Ovid tells the story of two immortals who came to Earth in disguise to cleanse the sickened world. No one would let them in but one old couple, Baucis and Philemon. And their reward for opening their door to strangers was to live on after death as trees—an oak and a linden—huge and gracious and intertwined. What we care for, we will grow to resemble. And what we resemble will hold us, when we are us no longer.”
“Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.”
“To be human is to confuse a satisfying story with a meaningful one, and to mistake life for something huge with two legs. No: life is mobilized on a vastly larger scale, and the world is failing precisely because no novel can make the contest for the world seem as compelling as the struggles between a few lost people.”

Contemporary French Art – Rocio Navarro

Below – “Firsts and Lasts”; “No going back #2”; “Winds of spring #3”; “Holding a snake plant”; “Tired of waiting”; “In the cold cold night #2.”

A Poem for Today

“We Are of a Tribe”
by Alberto Rios

We plant seeds in the ground
And dreams in the sky,

Hoping that, someday, the roots of one
Will meet the upstretched limbs of the other.

It has not happened yet.
We share the sky, all of us, the whole world:

Together, we are a tribe of eyes that look upward,
Even as we stand on uncertain ground.

The earth beneath us moves, quiet and wild,
Its boundaries shifting, its muscles wavering.

The dream of sky is indifferent to all this,
Impervious to borders, fences, reservations.

The sky is our common home, the place we all live.
There we are in the world together.

The dream of sky requires no passport.
Blue will not be fenced. Blue will not be a crime.

Look up. Stay awhile. Let your breathing slow.
Know that you always have a home here.

Below – Lynne Douglas: “Light the Way” (photograph)

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Wandering in Woodacre – 17 June 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 17 June 1898 – Edward Burne-Jones, an English painter.

Below – “The last sleep of Arthur”; “The Golden Stairs”; “Temperantia”; “Girl and Goldfish”; “The Beguiling of Merlin”; “Nymphs of the Stars.”

A Poem for Today

by Sarah Freligh

On the fire escape, one
stupid petunia still blooms,
purple trumpet blowing
high notes at the sky long
after the rest of the band
has packed up
and gone home.

Contemporary British Art – Marcel Garbi

Below- “Something amiss”; “Suspended in the breath of your dream”; “Songs and fragrances”; “Mystery Theatre”; “Oud”; “Time to leave the stage.”

A Poem for Today

“Starlings in Winter”
by Mary Oliver

Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly

they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,

dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,

then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine

how they do it
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,

this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.

Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;

I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard. I want

to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.

Below – Antoinette Haselhorst: “Dance of the Starlings” (photograph)

Contemporary American Art – Morris T Howard

Below- “I Dream A World”; “Holiday Delivery”; “Spring”; “Man In A Field Of African Daisies”; “I Continue To Dream”; “New Girls In Town.”

A Poem for Today

by Ellen Bass
“The Thing Is”

to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you down like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, ‘How can a body withstand this?’
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

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Wandering in Woodacre -16 June 2021

Contemporary Spanish Art – Alessandra Favetto

Below (photographs) – “Never look back”; “Moon catcher”; “52 summers”; “Desert storm”; “Magic flowers”; “Dream.”

A Poem for Today

by Wendell Berry

The longer we are together
the larger death grows around us.
How many we know by now
who are dead! We, who were young,
now count the cost of having been.
And yet as we know the dead
we grow familiar with the world.
We, who were young and loved each other
ignorantly, now come to know
each other in love, married
by what we have done, as much
as by what we intend. Our hair
turns white with our ripening
as though to fly away in some
coming wind, bearing the seed
of what we know. It was bitter to learn
that we come to death as we come
to love, bitter to face
the just and solving welcome
that death prepares. But that is bitter
only to the ignorant, who pray
it will not happen. Having come
the bitter way to better prayer, we have
the sweetness of ripening. How sweet
to know you by the signs of this world!

Below – Edgar Piel: “Together”

Contemporary Swedish Art – Cat Dogville

Below – “my house”; “the shop in Istanbul”; “the red trees”; “the Chinese cross bike”; “school children”; “the first swim.”

A Poem for Today

by Bunya no Asayasu (Japanese, circa 900 C.E.)

In a gust of wind the white dew
On the Autumn grass
Scatters like a broken necklace.

Below – Richard Raveen Chester: “Pearly dew drops on the meadow grass”

Contemporary British Art – Isabelle Amante

Below – “A meeting with yourself”; “Burning Light”; “Ghost Party”; “Sleepless Night”; “Flowing Memories”; “Daydreaming by the river.”

A Poem for Today

“I Save My Love”
by Marjorie Saiser

I save my love for what is close,
for the dog’s eyes, the depths of brown
when I take a wet cloth to them
to wash his face. I save my love
for the smell of coffee at The Mill,
the roasted near-burn of it, especially
the remnant that stays later
in the fibers of my coat. I save my love
for what stays. The white puff
my breath makes when I stand
at night on my doorstep.
That mist doesn’t last, evaporates
like your car turning the corner,
you at the wheel, waving.
Your hand a quick tremble in a
brief illumination. Palm and fingers.
Your face toward me. You had
turned on the over-head light so I would
see you for an instant, see you waving,
see you gone.

Below – Christy Powers: “The most remarkable thing about you standing in the doorway is that it’s you and that you are standing in the doorway.”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 15 June 2021

Contemporary Russian Art – Renat Renee-Ell

Below (photographs) – ‘in someone else”; “Lilo”; “White”; “Breathe”; “In someone else”; “Say My Name.”

A Poem for Today

by Sappho

Awed by her splendor
stars near the lovely
moon cover their own
bright faces
when she
is roundest and lights
earth with her silver

Below – John ho: “Mystery Full Moon and Stars”

Contemporary American Art – Chloe Swopshire

Below – “Held by the Sun’s Gaze”; “Self Portrait”; “That’s So Raven”; “Lion’s Gate 444”; “Fairy Lit Nights”; “Weather Girl.”

A Poem for Today

by David Baker

Small flames afloat in blue duskfall, beneath trees
anonymous and hooded, the solemn trees—by ones
and twos and threes we go down to the water’s level edge
with our candles cupped and melted into little pie-tins
to set our newest loss free. Everyone is here.

Everyone is wholly quiet in the river’s hush and appropriate dark.
The tenuous fires slip from our palms and seem to settle
in the stilling water, but then float, ever so slowly,
in a loose string like a necklace’s pearls spilled,
down the river barely as wide as a dusty road.

No one is singing, and no one leaves—we stand back
beneath the grieving trees on both banks, bowed but watching,
as our tiny boats pass like a long history of moons
reflected, or like notes in an elder’s hymn, or like us,
death after death, around the far, awakening bend.

Contemporary Portuguese Art – Susana Bravo

Below – “The Quietness of the Space Made It Eligible”; “Words and Worlds Too”;”What does the Baiana have…”; “Remarkable for Life”; “see who you take after”; “Little Yellow Sunshine.”

A Poem for Today

“For the Sake of Strangers”
by Dorianne Laux

No matter what the grief, its weight,
we are obliged to carry it.
We rise and gather momentum, the dull strength
that pushes us through crowds.
And then the young boy gives me directions
so avidly. A woman holds the glass door open,
waiting patiently for my empty body to pass through.
All day it continues, each kindness
reaching toward another—a stranger
singing to no one as I pass on the path, trees
offering their blossoms, a child
who lifts his almond eyes and smiles.
Somehow they always find me, seem even
to be waiting, determined to keep me
from myself, from the thing that calls to me
as it must have once called to them—
this temptation to step off the edge
and fall weightless, away from the world.

Below – Sonal Poghat: “Longing”

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