Wandering in Woodacre – 9 January 2021

Contemporary British Art – Tom Voyce

Below – “Milton”; “Lichfield Trent Valley; “Bearwood Hill”; “In Transit”; “Entering a City – Auckland”; “Downtown Seattle.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 9 January 1946 – Counttee Cullen, an American poet, novelist, and playwright.

“I Have a Rendezvous With Life”
by Countee Cullen

I have a rendezvous with Life,
In days I hope will come,
Ere youth has sped, and strength of mind,
Ere voices sweet grow dumb.
I have a rendezvous with Life,
When Spring’s first heralds hum.
Sure some would cry it’s better far
To crown their days with sleep
Than face the road, the wind and rain,
To heed the calling deep.
Though wet nor blow nor space I fear,
Yet fear I deeply, too,
Lest Death should meet and claim me ere
I keep Life’s rendezvous.

Below – Monique Labusch: “Rendezvous 2”


Contemporary French Art – Pascale Taurua

Below – “Wise girl”; “Chez moi”; “Tutu”; “Dans mon universe”; “My black Chanel”; “Special Summer Price.”

A Poem for Today

“For My Wife”
by Wesley McNair

How were we to know, leaving your two kids
behind in New Hampshire for our honeymoon
at twenty-one, that it was a trick of cheap
hotels in New York City to draw customers
like us inside by displaying a fancy lobby?
Arriving in our fourth-floor room, we found
a bed, a scarred bureau, and a bathroom door
with a cut on one side the exact shape
of the toilet bowl that was in its way
when I closed it. I opened and shut the door,
admiring the fit and despairing of it. You
discovered the initials of lovers carved
on the bureau’s top in a zigzag, breaking heart.
How wrong the place was to us then,
unable to see the portents of our future
that seem so clear now in the naiveté
of the arrangements we made, the hotel’s
disdain for those with little money,
the carving of pain and love. Yet in that room
we pulled the covers over ourselves and lay
our love down, and in this way began our unwise
and persistent and lucky life together.

Below – Cassio Markowski “Marriage” (photograph)


Contemporary British Art – Emma Loizides

Below – “Kill Bill Church”; “Pink Hollywood”; “Pink Palms”; “Hollywood Hills”; “Laguna Palms”; “Richmond.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 9 January 1919 – William Morris Meredith, Jr., an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

“Parents”
by William Morris Meredith, Jr.

What it must be like to be an angel
or a squirrel, we can imagine sooner.

The last time we go to bed good,
they are there, lying about darkness.

They dandle us once too often,
these friends who become our enemies.

Suddenly one day, their juniors
are as old as we yearn to be.

They get wrinkles where it is better
smooth, odd coughs, and smells.

It is grotesque how they go on
loving us, we go on loving them

The effrontery, barely imaginable,
of having caused us. And of how.

Their lives: surely
we can do better than that.

This goes on for a long time.Everything
they do is wrong, and the worst thing,

they all do it, is to die,
taking with them the last explanation,

how we came out of the wet sea
or wherever they got us from,

taking the last link
of that chain with them.

Father, mother, we cry, wrinkling,
to our uncomprehending children and grandchildren.

Below – Cynthia Angeles: “Afternoon Stroll”


Contemporary Azerbijanian Art – Ellada Ismayil

Below – “Egocentric”; “Part of Eden”; “Quiet breakfast”; “Blue eternity”; “Sadness and Blue”; “Heavenly / Nude.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 9 January 1919 – William Morris Meredith, Jr., an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“Starlight”
by William Morris Meredith, Jr.

Going abruptly into a starry night
It is ignorance we blink from, dark, unhoused;
There is a gaze of animal delight
Before the human vision. Then, aroused
To nebulous danger, we may look for easy stars,
Orion and the Dipper; but they are not ours,

These learned fields. Dark and ignorant,
Unable to see here what our forebears saw,
We keep some fear of random firmament
Vestigial in us. And we think, Ah,
If I had lived then, when these stories were made up, I
Could have found more likely pictures in haphazard sky.

But this is not so. Indeed, we have proved fools
When it comes to myths and images. A few
Old bestiaries, pantheons and tools
Translated to the heavens years ago—
Scales and hunter, goat and horologe—are all
That save us when, time and again, our systems fall.

And what would we do, given a fresh sky
And our dearth of image? Our fears, our few beliefs
Do not have shapes. They are like that astral way
We have called milky, vague stars and star-reefs
That were shapeless even to the fecund eye of myth—
Surely these are no forms to start a zodiac with.

To keep the sky free of luxurious shapes
Is an occupation for most of us, the mind
Free of luxurious thoughts. If we choose to escape,
What venial constellations will unwind
Around a point of light, and then cannot be found
Another night or by another man or from other ground.

As for me, I would find faces there,
Or perhaps one face I have long taken for guide;
Far-fetched, maybe, like Cygnus, but as fair,
And a constellation anyone could read
Once it was pointed out; an enlightenment of night,
The way the pronoun you will turn dark verses bright.

Below – Marina Shkarupa: From the series “Unknown Space”

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