Wandering in Woodacre – 26 August 2020

Contemporary Norwegian Art – June Sira

Below – “The Veil”; “Girl Dreaming”; “Dusk”; “A Nest of Pillows”; “A Girl With Flowers On Her Dress”; “Girl, Wind, Water.”

A Poem for Today

“Abandoned Farmhouse”
by Ted Kooser

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm—a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Below – David Lister: “Abandoned Farmhouse”

Contemporary American Art – Brendan Kramp

Below – “Woman at Summer Window”; “Cafe Interior with Umbrellas”; “The Writer”; “Summer Slide”; “Coffee in Spring”; “Nicollet Spyhouse Summer.”

A Poem for Today

“The China Painters”
by Ted Kooser

They have set aside their black tin boxes,
scratched and dented,
spattered with drops of pink and blue;
and their dried-up, rolled-up tubes
of alizarin crimson, chrome green,
zinc white, and ultramarine;
their vials half full of gold powder;
stubs of wax pencils;
frayed brushes with tooth-bitten shafts;
and have gone in fashion and with grace
into the clouds of loose, lush roses,
narcissus, pansies, columbine,
on teapots, chocolate pots,
saucers and cups, the good Haviland dishes
spread like a garden
on the white lace Sunday cloth,
as if their souls were bees
and the world had been nothing but flowers.

Below – Haviland china.

Contemporary Spanish Art – Viet Ha Tran

Below (photographs) – “Watercolor Portrait XI”; “Mermaid in Ibiza III”; “European Snow III”; “Green Waters”; “Nordic Landscape II”; “Mermaid in Ibiza VII.”

A Poem for Today

“The Giant Slide”
by Ted Kooser

Beside the highway, the Giant Slide
with its rusty undulations lifts
out of the weeds. It hasn’t been used
for a generation. The ticket booth
tilts to that side where the nickels shifted
over the years. A chain link fence keeps out
the children and drunks. Blue morning glories
climb halfway up the stairs, bright clusters
of laughter. Call it a passing fancy,
this slide that nobody slides down now.
Those screams have all gone east
on a wind that will never stop blowing
down from the Rockies and over the plains,
where things catch on for a little while,
bright leaves in a fence, and then are gone.


Contemporary Mexican Art – Zoe Lunar

Below – “A day to think about”; “A silhouette in the shade of an afternoon”; “Beyond”; “Of dreams that can be reflections”; “A question of look”; “materia”; “Mirrors.”

A Poem for Today

“In the Basement of the Goodwill Store”
by Ted Kooser

In musty light, in the thin brown air
of damp carpet, doll heads and rust,
beneath long rows of sharp footfalls
like nails in a lid, an old man stands
trying on glasses, lifting each pair
from the box like a glittering fish
and holding it up to the light
of a dirty bulb. Near him, a heap
of enameled pans as white as skulls
looms in the catacomb shadows,
and old toilets with dry red throats
cough up bouquets of curtain rods.

You’ve seen him somewhere before.
He’s wearing the green leisure suit
you threw out with the garbage,
and the Christmas tie you hated,
and the ventilated wingtip shoes
you found in your father’s closet
and wore as a joke. And the glasses
which finally fit him, through which
he looks to see you looking back—
two mirrors which flash and glance—
are those through which one day
you too will look down over the years,
when you have grown old and thin
and no longer particular,
and the things you once thought
you were rid of forever
have taken you back in their arms.

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