Sentient in San Francisco – 5 May 2019

Notes from the Neighborhood: Another Birthday!

Below (With apologies to John William Burgon, author of the poem “Petra”) – A rose-red relic half as old as time.


Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Shandor Alexander: Part I of II.

Below – “Himandra”; “Cold day”; “On a quiet street”; “Evening River”: “Sakura blooms”; “Over Rakhov.”

A Poem for Today

“A Birthday Candle”
by Donald Justice

Thirty today, I saw
The trees flare briefly like
The candles on a cake,
As the sun went down the sky,
A momentary flash,
Yet there was time to wish

Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Shandor Alexander: Part II of II.

Below – “Transcarpathian land”; “Sunny day in the garden”; “Autumn in the village of Kopanya”; “Agriculture”; “High in the mountains”; “Severe winter.”


A Poem for Today

“Birthday of but a single pang”
by Emily Dickinson

Birthday of but a single pang
That there are less to come —
Afflictive is the Adjective
But affluent the doom —

Contemporary American Art – Taliah Lempert

Below – “Takhion Bicycle 32”; “Colorful Bicycle Row 4”; “Track Tandem Bicycle.”


A Poem for Today

“Ninon De Lenclos, On Her Last Birthday”
by Dorothy Parker

So let me have the rouge again,
And comb my hair the curly way.
The poor young men, the dear young men
They’ll all be here by noon today.

And I shall wear the blue, I think-
They beg to touch its rippled lace;
Or do they love me best in pink,
So sweetly flattering the face?

And are you sure my eyes are bright,
And is it true my cheek is clear?
Young what’s-his-name stayed half the night;
He vows to cut his throat, poor dear!

So bring my scarlet slippers, then,
And fetch the powder-puff to me.
The dear young men, the poor young men-
They think I’m only seventy!

Below – An etching of Ninon De Lenclos (1620-1705), a French author, courtesan, and patron of the arts.

Contemporary Dutch Art – Jacco Hinke

Below – “Still life with flowers”; “All the parts sketch XXII”; Untitled; “Sketch XV”; “A continuity disturbance (All the parts sketch VII)”; “Still life with flowers.”

A Poem for Today

“For K.R. on her Sixtieth Birthday”
by Richard Wilbur

Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark,
Who round with grace this dusky arc
Of the grand tour which souls must take.

You who have sounded William Blake,
And the still pool, to Plato’s mark,
Blow out the candles of your cake.
They will not leave you in the dark.

Yet, for your friends’ benighted sake,
Detain your upward-flying spark;
Get us that wish, though like the lark
You whet your wings till dawn shall break:
Blow out the candles of your cake.

Contemporary South Korean Art – Youngjin Jun

Below – “Painting for painting 15no01”; “Painting for painting 18no08”; “Painting for painting 18no10”; “Painting for painting 18no11”; “Painting for painting 07n011”; “Painting for painting 17no12.”


A Poem for Today

“A Birthday Poem”
by Ted Kooser

Just past dawn, the sun stands
with its heavy red head
in a black stanchion of trees,
waiting for someone to come
with his bucket
for the foamy white light,
and then a long day in the pasture.
I too spend my days grazing,
feasting on every green moment
till darkness calls,
and with the others
I walk away into the night,
swinging the little tin bell
of my name.

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