From the Pacific Northwest – Part XLIV

Musings in Autumn: Neil Gaiman

“Songs remain. They last…A song can last long after the events and the people in it are dust and dreams and gone. That’s the power of songs.”


Art for November – Part I of IV: Dorothy Knowles

Below – “Flowered Hedge”


Musings in Autumn: Nathan Reese Maher

“All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city’s monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea.”

Below – Atlantic City


Art for November – Part II of IV: John Koerner

Below – Untitled Landscape


Musings in Autumn: Stephen Vincent Benet

“Remember that when you say ‘I will have none of this exile and this stranger for his face is not like my face and his speech is strange,’ you have denied America with that word.”


A Poem for Today

By Seamus Heaney”

Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;
Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.
And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.
So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me
Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.


Canadian Art – Allen Sapp

In the words of one writer, “A descendant of the great plains Cree Chief Poundmaker, Allen Sapp was born in 1929 on the Red Pheasant Reserve in Saskatchewan. Often bed-ridden as a child because of frail health, he learned to draw and to paint as a way of giving expression to his world. In 1966, Allen Sapp met Dr. Allan Gonor, who became his good friend and patron. Dr. Gonor played an influential role in Allen Sapp’s artistic career and was the driving force behind the creation of the Allen Sapp Gallery. The Gonor Collection opened in 1989 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, making Allen Sapp the only living Canadian artist, at that time, to have a museum dedicated to his work. A distinguished artist, respected by his peers, Allen Sapp was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1973. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1987 by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé, in recognition of his achievements in the visual arts. He has had numerous exhibitions throughout Canada and abroad, including New York, Los Angeles and London.”

Below – “Going Home With a Load”; “Inside the House at Sweetgrass Reserve”; “Making Posts on Sweetgrass Reserve”; “Stopping to Talk”; “Making a Rope for the Horse.”






A Second Poem for Today

“Oceanside, CA”
By Marie-Elizabeth Mali

Balancing on crutches in the shallows
near her mother, a girl missing her right lower leg
swings her body and falls, laughing.
Behind them, her father and brother play catch.
Up the beach, the incoming tide nibbles
a sleeping woman, another beer is opened.
A young veteran walks by with a high and tight
buzz cut and Semper Fi shoulder tattoo, his right leg
a prosthesis to mid-thigh. He approaches
the family, removes the prosthesis, and joins
the girl in the water. They lift shorn legs high
and smack them down. No one talks about the war.


Musings in Autumn: Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“And the fox said to the little prince: men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”


Art for November – Part III of IV: Patrick Landsley

Below – “The Red Garden”


A Third Poem for Today

“Emergency Vehicles”
By Kay Ryan

Emergency vehicles
are on the way but
slow ones. You will
have to go on for
some time. Well, years.
Then one day they will
suddenly arrive
and show you your
chest, which is
neatly packed with
something, you see.
You thank them,
having feared you
would be lost.


Musings in Autumn: Gary Kowalski

“Animals, like us, are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being.”


Art for November – Part IV of IV: Paul Green

Below – “Tale”


A Fourth Poem for Today

“[Sometimes I don’t know if I’m having a feeling]”
By Matthew Siegel

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m having a feeling
so I check my phone or squint at the window
with a serious look, like someone in a movie
or a mother thinking about how time passes.
Sometimes I’m not sure how to feel so I think
about a lot of things until I get an allergy attack.
I take my antihistamine with beer, thank you very much,
sleep like a cut under a band aid, wake up
on the stairs having missed the entire party.
It was a real blast, I can tell, for all the vases
are broken, the flowers twisted into crowns
for the young, drunk, and beautiful. I put one on
and salute the moon, the lone face over me
shining through the grates on the front door window.
You have seen me like this before, such a strange
version of the person you thought you knew.
Guess what, I’m strange to us both. It’s like
I’m not even me sometimes. Who am I? A question
for the Lord only to decide as She looks over
my résumé. Everything is different sometimes.
Sometimes there is no hand on my shoulder
but my room, my apartment, my body are containers
and I am thusly contained. How easy to forget
the obvious. The walls, blankets, sunlight, your love.


Musings in Autumn: Maggie Young

“Millennials: We lost the genetic lottery. We graduated high school into terrorist attacks and wars. We graduated college into a recession and mounds of debt. We will never acquire the financial cushion, employment stability, and material possessions of our parents. We are often more educated, experienced, informed, and digitally fluent than prior generations, yet are constantly haunted by the trauma of coming of age during the detonation of the societal structure we were born into. But perhaps we are overlooking the silver lining. We will have less money to buy the material possessions that entrap us. We will have more compassion and empathy because our struggles have taught us that even the most privileged can fall from grace. We will have the courage to pursue our dreams because we have absolutely nothing to lose. We will experience the world through backpacking, couch surfing, and carrying on interesting conversations with adventurers in hostels because our bank accounts can’t supply the Americanized resorts. Our hardships will obligate us to develop spiritual and intellectual substance. Maybe having roommates and buying our clothes at thrift stores isn’t so horrible as long as we are making a point to pursue genuine happiness.”


American Art – Rick Bartow: Part I

In the words of one writer, “A wide range of cultural experiences inspired Rick Bartow’s drawings, paintings, sculpture, and prints. Native American transformation myths are the heart of much of his work. Bartow lived and worked on the Oregon coast, where he observed hawk, raven and eagle—the subjects that populate his artwork.”

Below – “Coyote/Madonna”; “Magician”; “Bird Telling Stories”; “Poets Crow”; “Thursday Falcon”; “What the Crow Said.”







A Fifth Poem for Today

“Polaroid: Links”
By Stacey Lynn Brown

Knock-kneed, bucktoothed,
I stand with a small golf bag slung

over my shoulder, my 96
ROCK hat pulled low, shielding

the bright Florida sun.
I am seven, out with my dad

chasing this small white
ball up and down the fairway

while he hits mulligans, calibrates
his swing. He wants me to be

the next Nancy Lopez. I just want
to spend time with him, would never

actually say I don’t like playing,
watching, talking about it

for hours on end. All too soon,
‘his handicap’ won’t refer

to his game but to the night
my mother found him on the floor,

the aftermath, the constant
tallying of the effort it takes

to get from one hazard to
the next. My father is away,

furthest from the hole, choosing
between iron and wood.


Musings in Autumn: Mark Lawrence

“We wrap up our violent and mysterious world in a pretense of understanding. We paper over the voids of our comprehension with science and religion, and make believe that order has been imposed. And, for the most of it, the fiction works. We skim across the surfaces, heedless of the depths below. Dragonflies flitting over a lake, miles deep, pursuing erratic paths to pointless ends. Until that moment when something from the cold unknown reaches up to take us.
The biggest lies we save for ourselves. We play a game in which we are gods, in which we make choices, and the current follows in our wake. We pretend a separation from the wild. Pretend that a man’s control runs deep, that civilization is more than a veneer, that reason will be our companion in dark places.”


American Art – Rick Bartow: Part II

In the words of one writer, “Rick was a member of the Wiyot tribe from Northwestern California.
In 1969, Rick Bartow earned a Bachelors of Arts in Art Education from Western Oregon State University. Soon after, Bartow served in the Vietnam War for thirteen months, 1970-1971. He returned to art making several years after his military service ended. In the interim, Bartow worked in many fields including fishing, bartending, building maintenance, and teaching. He was an active blues guitarist.
Bartow’s work as a professional artist included solo exhibitions at museums, universities, and galleries around the globe and the USA.”

Below – “Coyote Magic”; “Bear Heart”; “Monkey Business”; “Coyote Song”; “Big Raven, My Hands”; “From Nothing Coyote Creates Himself”; “Crying Wild.”








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