19 May 2017: A Sunny Friday in the Pacific Northwest

Musings in Spring: Robert Frost

“The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to the ocean-
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.”

Art for Spring – Part I of V: Sandow Birk (American, contemporary)

Below – “Von Dutch’s Legacy”

A Poem for Today

“Settler’s Creek”
By Patrick Hicks

You’d been gone four months by then,
but we brought you along anyway.

On my back, you rested
riding inside a wooden box.

The idea was to lay you gently
at the water’s surface,

but our clumsy hands spilled you,
and it was hard to tell whether you went head

or feet first, but it didn’t much matter
anyway, I suppose.

You would float on down the creek
until you had reached the next and so on.

My father gave a little wave and joked,
“We’ll see you back on down in Denver, Dad.”

We stood there in silence
listening to you chuckle

under the bridge and over
the first set of riffles downstream.

Art for Spring – Part II of V: Robert Bissell (British, contemporary)

Below – “Enchantment”

Musings in Spring: Anais Nin

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

Art for Spring – Part III of V: Charles Blackman (Australian, contemporary)

Below – “Life Song”

A Second Poem for Today

By David Livewell

Retired from other trades, they wore
Work clothes again to mop the johns
And feed the furnace loads of coal.
Their roughened faces matched the bronze

Of the school bell the nun would swing
To start the day. They limped but smiled,
Explored the secret, oldest nooks:
The steeple’s clock, dark attics piled

With inkwell desks, the caves beneath
The stage on Bingo night. The pastor
Bowed to the powers in their hands:
Fuses and fire alarms, the plaster

Smoothing a flaking wall, the keys
To countless locks. They fixed the lights
In the crawl space above the nave
And tolled the bells for funeral rites.

‘Maintain what dead men made.’ Time blurs
Their scripted names and well-waxed floors,
Those keepers winking through the years
And whistling down the corridors.

Art for Spring – Part IV of V: Woodrow Blagg (American, contemporary)

Below – “Independent Pier Co – Pier 34 So. Philadelphia”

Musings in Spring: Eugene O’Neill

“The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.”

Art for Spring – Part V of V: Laurie Blank (American, contemporary)

Below – “Noche”

Musings in Spring: Jack London

“A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.”

Contemporary American Art – Jerry Blank

In the words of one writer, “Jerry Blank has studied art and design at San Jose State University and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from SJSU. He has been illustrating and painting watercolors, acrylics and oils for over thirty years and recently taken a year sabbatical, living in Paris and concentrating on his impressionist painting style. He returned with over fifty canvases. His fine art has been in galleries in New York, Houston, and San Jose, Las Vegas.”

Below – “Sitting Bull”; “Billie Holiday”; “Hemingway”; “Charles Mingus”; “Blackbird”; “Gaga.”

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