24 May 2017 – A Sunshine-Filled Wednesday

Musings in Spring: Robert Frost

“So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.”

Below – Winslow Homer: “The Birch Swing”

Art for Spring – Part I of V: Howard Bradford (American, 1919-2008)

Below – “Gourds”

Musings in Spring: Jack Kerouac

“After all this kind of fanfare, and even more, I came to a point where I needed solitude and to just stop the machine of ‘thinking’ and ‘enjoying’ what they call ‘living,’ I just wanted to lie in the grass and look at the clouds.”

Art for Spring – Part II of V: Charles Ray Bragg (American, 1931-2017)

Below – “Falcon and Falconer”

A Poem for Today

By Margaret Hasse

Our high school principal wagged his finger
over two manila folders
lying on his desk, labeled with our names—
my boyfriend and me—
called to his office for skipping school.

The day before, we ditched Latin and world history
to chase shadows of clouds on a motorcycle.
We roared down rolling asphalt roads
through the Missouri River bottoms
beyond town, our heads emptied
of review tests and future plans.

We stopped on a dirt lane to hear
a meadowlark’s liquid song, smell
heart-break blossom of wild plum.
Beyond leaning fence posts and barbwire,
a tractor drew straight lines across the field
unfurling its cape of blackbirds.

Now forty years after that geography lesson
in spring, I remember the principal’s words.
How right he was in saying:
‘This will be part of
your permanent record.’

Art for Spring – Part III of V: Jennie Tomao (American, 1934-2011)

Below – “Into the Forest II”

Musings in Spring: Mignon McLaughlin

“The ideal home: big enough for you to hear the children, but not very well.”

Art for Spring – Part IV of V: John Buck (American, contemporary)

Below – “Night Sky – Luna”

A Second Poem for Today

“The Wanderer Awaiting Preferment”
By William Stafford

In a world where no one knows for sure
I hold the blanket to the snow to find:
‘come winter, then blizzard, then demand-
the final strategy of high, the snow
like justice over stones like bread.’

“Tell us what you deserve,” the whole world said.
My hands belong to cold; my voice to dust,
nobody’s brother; and with a gray-eyed stare
the towns I pass return me what I give, or claim:
“Wanderer, swerve: but his is a faint command.”

Only what winter gives, I claim. As trees
drink dark through roots for their peculiar grain
while meager justice applauds up through the grass,
I calm the private storm within myself.
Men should not claim, nor should they have to ask.

Art for Spring – Part V of V: Bruno Bruni (Italian, contemporary)

Below – “Abbraccio, Kiss”

Musings in Spring: Joshua Suya Pelicano

“You cannot explore the universe if you think that you are the center of it.”

Contemporary American Art – Jim Buckels

In the words of one writer, “Jim Buckels’ fascination with fantasy began in early childhood, when his mother, who taught English composition and literature at Iowa State University, would read to him from storybooks illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and Hoeard Pyle. Later, Jim Buckels’ artistic talent won him a scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa, which his adventurous spirit compelled him to interrupt in his sophomore year, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army for a three year stint, including a tour of Vietnam. Returning to civilian life in 1971, Jim Buckels resumed his studies at UNI, earning a bachelor’s degree in art, and began his career as a freelance illustrator, becoming known for his stylized landscapes, inspired by such regional artists as Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as by the primitive dreamscapes of the great French painter, Henri Rousseau.”

Below – “Leda’s Bath”; “Aurora’s Garland”; “Blue Ruin”; “Cheshire Moon”; “Seven Sisters Road”; “Huntress.”

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