Beleaguered in Bothell – 25 January 2018

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 25 January 1885 – Hakushu Kitahara, a Japanese poet.

Two Tanka by Hakushi Kitahara

The drop of milk
Which had fallen
On the light red polish
Of her nails
Made me yearn for the past

The blue froth
On surging water
Quickly disappears from sight.
For a moment, a wagtail’s long
Touch the foam.

Art for Winter – Part I of II: Michel Pellus (Canadian, contemporary)

Below – “Chantal”; “Le Cliche”; “Le Bustier”

For Your Information: 25 January is National A Room of One’s Own Day in the United States.

Why not read an occasion-appropriate book today?

Art for Winter – Part II of II: Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)

Below (all photographs) – “Seven Shells, New York”; “Audrey Hepburn”; “Blast”

Musings in Winter: Edward Abbey

May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock potholes fourteen miles on the other side of yonder blue ridge. May God’s dog serenade your campfire, may the rattlesnake and the screech owl amuse your reverie, may the Great Sun dazzle your eyes by day and the Great Bear watch over you by night.

Below – Piper Mountain Wilderness, California.

This Date in Art History: Died 25 January 1884 – Pericles Pantazis, a Greek painter.

Below – “Boy Eating Watermelon”; “Girl”; “Snowy Landscape”; “Lady in the mirror with a fan”; “Still Life with Quinces”; “Portrait of Varvogli.”

Worth a Thousand Words: Floating Peace Lanterns in Vietnam. (This photograph taken by Minh Thanh Ngo was a National Award Winner.)

Contemporary American Art – Amado Pena: Part I of II

In the words of one writer, “Amado Pena Jr.’s art focuses on Hispanic and Native American figures and has been described as capturing the essence of the Southwest. Pena, a mestizo of Mexican and Yaqui Indian descent, was born in 1943 and raised in Laredo, Texas. He earned B.A. and M.A. degrees at Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas and was an art teacher in Texas public schools for sixteen years.”

Below – “Georgia on My Mind”; “Ano Seis”; “La Otra Olla”; “Man Playing Flute”; “Mestizo Series: Dos de Acoma”; “Homage.”

A Poem for Today

“The Wheel Revolves”
by Kenneth Rexroth

You were a girl of satin and gauze
Now you are my mountain and waterfall companion.
Long ago I read those lines of Po Chu I
Written in his middle age.
Young as I was they touched me.
I never thought in my own middle age
I would have a beautiful young dancer
To wander with me by falling crystal waters,
Among mountains of snow and granite,
Least of all that unlike Po’s girl
She would be my very daughter.

The earth turns towards the sun.
Summer comes to the mountains.
Blue grouse drum in the red fir woods
All the bright long days.
You put blue jay and flicker feathers
In your hair.
Two and two violet green swallows
Play over the lake.
The blue birds have come back
To nest on the little island.
The swallows sip water on the wing
And play at love and dodge and swoop
Just like the swallows that swirl
Under and over the Ponte Vecchio.
Light rain crosses the lake
Hissing faintly. After the rain
There are giant puffballs with tortoise shell backs
At the edge of the meadow.
Snows of a thousand winters
Melt in the sun of one summer.
Wild cyclamen bloom by the stream.
Trout veer in the transparent current.
In the evening marmots bark in the rocks.
The Scorpion curls over the glimmering ice field.
A white crowned night sparrow sings as the moon sets.
Thunder growls far off.
Our campfire is a single light
Amongst a hundred peaks and waterfalls.
The manifold voices of falling water
Talk all night.
Wrapped in your down bag
Starlight on your cheeks and eyelids
Your breath comes and goes
In a tiny cloud in the frosty night.
Ten thousand birds sing in the sunrise.
Ten thousand years revolve without change.
All this will never be again.

Contemporary American Art – Amado Pena: Part II of II

In the words of one writer, “Pena is known for his humanitarian efforts, and his fund-raising activities have benefited charities such as the March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Native American Rights Fund and the Mexican American Legal and Educational Fund.”

Below – “Por la Tarda en Ranchos”; Untitled; “Dos Ollitas (Agua)”; “El Chotis”; “Nambe in Colores”; “Zuni.”

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