A Poem for Today
“If the Owl Calls Again”
at dusk from the island in the river, and it’s not too cold, I’ll wait for the moon to rise, then take wing and glide to meet him. We will not speak, but hooded against the frost soar above the alder flats, searching with tawny eyes. And then we’ll sit in the shadowy spruce and pick the bones of careless mice, while the long moon drifts toward Asia and the river mutters in its icy bed. And when the morning climbs the limbs we’ll part without a sound, fulfilled, floating homeward as the cold world awakens.
Art for November – Part I of II: Frederick Varley
Below – “Autumn, The Gatineau”
Musings in Autumn: James Thurber
“The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his.”
Art for November – Part II of II:Halfred Tygesen
Below – “Winter Scene”
A Second Poem for Today
By R. T. Smith
Out for a deadbolt, light bulbs
and two-by-fours, I find a flock
of sparrows safe from hawks
and weather under the roof
of Lowe’s amazing discount
store. They skitter from the racks
of stockpiled posts and hoses
to a spill of winter birdseed
on the concrete floor. How
they know to forage here,
I can’t guess, but the automatic
door is close enough,
and we’ve had a week
of storms. They are, after all,
ubiquitous, though poor,
their only song an irritating
noise, and yet they soar
to offer, amid hardware, rope
and handyman brochures,
some relief, as if a flurry
of notes from Mozart swirled
from seed to ceiling, entreating
us to set aside our evening
chores and take grace where
we find it, saying it is possible,
even in this month of flood,
blackout and frustration,
to float once more on sheer
survival and the shadowy
bliss we exist to explore.
Canadian Art – Diana Dean: Part I
In the words of one writer, “Diana Dean was born in Rhodesia and lived in England. She studied at the prestigious Bath Academy of Art between 1961 and 1964, where she was awarded a Diploma in Art and Education with a distinction in sculpture. She exhibited and was awarded prizes for her sculpture until 1973.
Diana moved with her family to Ottawa, Canada in 1975 where she took up painting (for practical reasons). Early in the 1980s, she moved to Salt Spring Island BC, where she remains today.
Below – “Women Buddhists Carrying the Horns”; “Three Birches”; “The Painter”; “Theh Hermit’s Blessing”; “Orchid and Thrush”; “Salt Spring Landscape”; “Sunflowers.”
Musings in Autumn: Austin Grossman
“The United States of America is logically the least magical place in the world. Planned by committee, not even a country, just a legal umbrella for fifty associated provinces, an elaborate polling system for creating other larger and more permanent committees. No mysteries; no demons; one God at the most. Sure, it had its own folklore and tall tales, but it wasn’t the same. Its rulers weren’t descended from men and women who spoke with birds and rode dragons. Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan were hayseeds, folksy also-rans compared to the madness in the ancient royal blood going back to the Druids, to Byzantium, to Mithraic cults.”
Canadian Art – Diana Dean: Part II
In the words of one writer, “Diana Dean has created an impressive body of work. She takes her cues from the Old Masters in regards to subject, scale and composition, creating pictures that are allegorical in nature, yet modern and poignant. Her strong identity with the place in which she lives is coupled with her equally strong family sensibility, and is expressed clearly in her work.”
Below – “The Gale”; “House Through Trees, Bowen Island”; “Sumac Tree”; “Fernwood Dock”; “Evening Light”; “The Ritual I.”
A Third Poem for Today
By Richard Wilbur
Sometimes, on waking, she would close her eyes
For a last look at that white house she knew
In sleep alone, and held no title to,
And had not entered yet, for all her sighs.
What did she tell me of that house of hers?
White gatepost; terrace; fanlight of the door;
A widow’s walk above the bouldered shore;
Salt winds that ruffle the surrounding firs.
Is she now there, wherever there may be?
Only a foolish man would hope to find
That haven fashioned by her dreaming mind.
Night after night, my love, I put to sea.
Musings in Autumn: Allen Ginsberg
“It occurs to me that I am America.
I am talking to myself again.”
American Art – Lil Wilburn: Part I
In the words of one writer, “Lli Wilburn received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY in 1992 and her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA in 1988. Wilburn has participated in group exhibitions throughout the Pacific Northwest and is represented in the public collections of the Cities of Seattle, Portland, and Portland Community College among others. Lli lives and works in Portland, Oregon.”
Below – “Broadway Bridge and Willamette”; “Confluence of Sandy and Bull Run”; “Summer Lake, Hot Springs”; “Sunriver Observatory”; “Rockt Butte 1”; “Burnt Thunderbird Hotel.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
“Fairbanks Under the Solstice”
By John Haines
Slowly, without sun, the day sinks
toward the close of December.
It is minus sixty degrees.
Over the sleeping houses a dense
fog rises—smoke from banked fires,
and the snowy breath of an abyss
through which the cold town
is perceptibly falling.
As if Death were a voice made visible,
with the power of illumination…
Now, in the white shadow
of those streets, ghostly newsboys
make their rounds, delivering
to the homes of those
who have died of the frost
word of the resurrection of Silence.
Musings in Autumn: Jay Woodman
“The world is a wide place where we stumble like children learning to walk. The world is a bright mosaic where we learn like children to see, where our little blurry eyes strive greedily to take in as much light and love and colour and detail as they can.
The world is a coaxing whisper when the wind lips the trees, when the sea licks the shore, when animals burrow into earth and people look up at the sympathetic stars. The world is an admonishing roar when gales chase rainclouds over the plains and whip up ocean waves, when people crowd into cities or intrude into dazzling jungles.
What right have we to carry our desperate mouths up mountains or into deserts? Do we want to taste rock and sand or do we expect to make impossible poems from space and silence? The vastness at least reminds us how tiny we are, and how much we don’t yet understand. We are mere babes in the universe, all brothers and sisters in the nursery together. We had better learn to play nicely before we’re allowed out….. And we want to go out, don’t we? ….. Into the distant humming welcoming darkness.”
American Art – Lil Wilburn: Part II
In the words of one writer, “Lli often draws urban places that are best experienced, or indeed can only be seen, by traveling on foot. Whether deliberately planned or coincidental, these places allow us to observe the city without being swept by in the flow of traffic, and to experience time as changes of light and atmosphere: ephemeral and eternal.
City structures observed at length also become establishing shots for countless possible narratives, historical sites that will never be in any guidebook but where, every day, people mark unrecorded events with contemplation, celebration, or mourning.”
Below – “Gladstone”; “Palms Motel Sign”; “Red Ship, High Water”; “Interstate Bridge Walkway”; “Yellow Hayden Island Railroad Bridge”; “Viaduct.”