Wandering in Woodacre – 30 September 2020

Contemporary Canadian Art – Charlotte Evans

Below – “hand in hand”; “night bird”; “green trousers”; “melting islands”; “off season”; “unity tree.”

A Poem for Today

“The Vanity of the Dragonfly”
by Nancy Willard

The dragonfly at rest on the doorbell—
too weak to ring and glad of it,
but well mannered and cautious,
thinking it best to observe us quietly
before flying in, and who knows if he will find
the way out? Cautious of traps, this one.
A winged cross, plain, the body straight
as a thermometer, the old glass kind
that could kill us with mercury if our teeth
did not respect its brittle body. Slim as an eel
but a solitary glider, a pilot without bombs
or weapons, and wings clear and small as a wish
to see over our heads, to see the whole picture.
And when our gaze grazes over it and moves on,
the dragonfly changes its clothes,
sheds its old skin, shriveled like laundry,
and steps forth, polished black, with two
circles buttoned like epaulettes taking the last space
at the edge of its eyes.

Below – Maria Blinova: “Lotus and dragonfly ink #5”

Contemporary Russian Art – Xenia Kamyshlova

Below – “Constellation”; “Way”; “Violincello”; “Cloud”; “Heat”; “Harp”; “Violin”; “Black horse.”

Musings in Autumn: Kamo no Chomei (Japanese, 1153 or 1155-1216)

“The current of the flowing river does not cease, and yet the water is not the same water as before. The foam that floats on stagnant pools, now vanishing, now forming, never stays the same for long. So, too, it is with the people and dwellings of the world.” – The opening sentence of Comei’s “Hojoki,” frequently translated as”The Ten Foot Square Hut.”

Below – Florence Laurent Minouflet: “As Water Flows”

Contemporary German Art – Chris Veeneman

Below – “Return to Mt. Fuji”; “Albinos”; “Rose-Lipt Maiden”; “Ghosted”; “Flora”; “Whited.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 September 1927 – W. S. Merwin, an American poet, recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

by W. S. Merwin

There are threads of old sound heard over and over
phrases of Shakespeare or Mozart the slender
wands of the auroras playing out from them
into dark time the passing of a few
migrants high in the night far from the ancient flocks
far from the rest of the words far from the instruments

Below Tanja Vetter: “Remembering V”

Contemporary British Art – Izabella Hornung

Below – “The magic spell makers”; “Pink garden”; “Gold wing”; “Blue blouse Bess”; “Lemonade and lace”; “Home alone”; “Nude nr9.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 September 1927 – W. S. Merwin, an American poet, recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“The Speed of Light”
by W. S. Merwin

So gradual in those summers was the going
of the age it seemed that the long days setting out
when the stars faded over the mountains were not
leaving us even as the birds woke in full song and the dew
glittered in the webs it appeared then that the clear morning
opening into the sky was something of ours
to have and keep and that the brightness we could not touch
and the air we could not hold had come to be there all the time
for us and would never be gone and that the axle
we did not hear was not turning when the ancient car
coughed in the roofer’s barn and rolled out echoing
first thing into the lane and the only tractor
in the village rumbled and went into its rusty
mutterings before heading out of its lean-to
into the cow pats and the shadow of the lime tree
we did not see that the swallows flashing and the sparks
of their cries were fast in the spokes of the hollow
wheel that was turning and turning us taking us
all away as one with the tires of the baker’s van
where the wheels of bread were stacked like days in calendars
coming and going all at once we did not hear
the rim of the hour in whatever we were saying
or touching all day we thought it was there and would stay
it was only as the afternoon lengthened on its
dial and the shadows reached out farther and farther
from everything that we began to listen for what
might be escaping us and we heard high voices ringing
the village at sundown calling their animals home
and then the bats after dark and the silence on its road

Below – Tony Meyer: “Lengthening Shadows”

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