And Still the Rain Falls . . .

Musings in Spring: Stanislaw Lem

“A journey is a dismal thing when there can be no homecoming.”

Art for Spring – Part I of V: Gregory Packard (American, contemporary)

Below – “Canyon Light”

A Poem for Today

“Unlike objects, two stories can occupy the same space”
By Charles Peek

Out along the last curve in the brick walk
the grass has begun to green,
with the freezing cold and coming snow
its certain fate.

The cranes make the same mistake,
fields of red capped heads attest their arrival
just before the worst blizzard of winter
makes it impossible to tell the field from the river.

And we, too, have known these mortal mishaps,
miscalculated our time, found ourselves out of step,
arriving too early, staying on too late,
misjudging the nearness, the vengeance of the storm.

The cranes, the grass, they tell us:
this can go on for millions of years.

Art for Spring – Part II of V: Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935)

Below – “The Water Garden”

Musings in Spring: William Butler Yeats

“And softness came from the starlight and filled me full to the bone.”

Below – Dan Hollingshead: “Frodo Walking in Starlight”

Art for Spring – Part III of V: Philippe Faraut (French, contemporary)

Below – “Polaris” (black marble)

A Second Poem for Today

“Oak Grove Cemetery”
By Don Thompson

Just enough rain an hour ago
to give the wispy dry grass some hope,
turning it green instantly.

This place has been abandoned,
the old faith overgrown, confused
by brambles,
and in these hard times,
its upkeep cut from the budget.

But we walk, soaked to the knees,
making our slow pilgrimage
among gravestones, speaking
blurred names back into the world.

Art for Spring – Part IV of V: Nancy Bush (American, contemporary)

Below – “Evening Light”

Musings in Spring: Helen Dunmore

“They wanted spring, of course they wanted it, more than anything. They longed for sun with every pore of their skin. But spring hurts. If spring can come, if things can be different, how can you bear what your existence has been?”

Below – Josef Rippl Ronai: “Pensive Woman with Vase of Flowers”

Art for Spring – Part V of V: Milt Kobayashi (American, contemporary)

Below – “A Moment’s Thoughts”

A Third Poem for Today

“Look for Me”
By Ted Kooser

Look for me under the hood
of that old Chevrolet settled in weeds
at the end of the pasture.

I’m the radiator that spent its years
bolted in front of an engine
shoving me forward into the wind.

Whatever was in me in those days
has mostly leaked away,
but my cap’s still screwed on tight

and I know the names of all these
tattered moths and broken grasshoppers
the rest of you’ve forgotten.

Below – George Boutwell: “Hazardous Cargo”

Contemporary Russian Art – Alexander Oligerov

In the words of one writer, “Alexander Oligerov was born in 1965 in Kazakhstan. In 1985 he graduated with honors of Donezk State Art College, Monumental Painting Faculty. In 1993 he graduated of Art faculty of Russian State Pedagogical University in St.Petersburg. Since 1988 he has been participating in group and personal exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Since 1993 he is the member of Unesco’s International Federation of Artists. Since 2000 he is a member of Russian Unit of Artists. Since 2009 he is a member of Paris Union of Artists “Les Seize Anges” . He teaches painting in Novgorod State University, he is the associate professor of faculty of the Fine Arts.”

Below – “How I Spent This Summer”; “Blue Owlet”; “Calm in the Stone Garden”; “Icarus”; “Inspiration”; “Fresh Wind.”

Musings in Spring: Paul Bogard

“Most days I live awed by the world we have still, rather than mourning the worlds we have lost. The bandit mask of a cedar waxwing on a bare branch a few feet away; the clear bright sun of a frozen winter noon; the rise of Orion in the eastern evening sky – every day, every night, I give thanks for another chance to notice. I see beauty everywhere; so much beauty I often speak it aloud. So much beauty I often laugh, and my day is made.”

Below – Brenda Thour: “Beauty Everywhere”

Contemporary American Art – C. B. “Buck” Mahaney

In the words of one writer, “One has only to spend a few moments with Buck Mahaney to realize he is a true renaissance man. Born March 15, 1941, Buck has spent most of his adulthood living a free life style to the envy of most city dwellers. Buck lives on several acres in Parker, Texas, a rural community north of Dallas, just around the corner from South Fork Ranch. The cedar, glass and stone home he built houses his studio which is itself a haven from the hectic world outside; filled with memorabilia, trophies and artifacts. A man’s room where friends spend comfortable hours in front of the big stone fireplace listening to his stories and enjoying his art. But it wasn’t always this way. Having the good fortune of owning a successful family business, Mahaney as a young man traveled around the world: big game hunting in Africa, bow hunting in the Amazon basin, fishing and hunting from Old Mexico north to Canada and Alaska. Buck has an excellent eye and is known for his outstanding shooting ability with both a gun and bow. When he was in his thirties he began to use that outstanding hand-eye coordination as an artist. He began painting and sketching. It was not long before Buck’s real talent took hold and he began fashioning fine art bronzes in the old west tradition. Although he kept an active interest in art over the last twenty-five years, it has only been in the last few that Buck has been able to divest himself from his various business activities to focus all his attention toward his sculpture, resulting in some of the finest original works available today.”

Below – “The Great Escape” (bronze); “Buffalo Trail – Buffalo” (bronze with marble); “Hard Times” (bronze); “Quanah” (bronze); “Buffalo Trail – Skull” (bronze with marble); “George Armstrong Custer” (bronze).

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