Contemporary British Art – Francis Reynolds
Below – “Solicitude”; “Oblivious”; “Reminisce”; “Look Away”; “Through to the Other Side”; “Forcing Squares Through Circles.”
A Poem for Today
“Art and Life”
by Henry Taylor
In the Portland Museum of Art’s snack bar
one July morning, a young woman worked
at the board that lists the specials of the day.
From her little stepladder she leaned in
with various colored chalks, using both point
and edge, adjusting with her fingertips,
experimenting with size and color, print
and script, once or twice stepping down and back,
then homing in on what was to be solved.
The whole thing might have taken her ten minutes.
At last she moved a little farther back
to see how what she’d done had changed the room,
while we, who had the good luck to be there
at the beginning of her day, beheld
the change she couldn’t know that she had wrought
merely by how her red hair caught the light.
Below – Margarita Felis: “Woman with red hair”
Below – “Still life with pomegranates”; “Set in stone”; “Italian morning”: “Wild roses in the hair”; “All mundane must perish”; “Mysterious nude woman.”
A Poem for Today
“Blue Work Shirt”
by Gail Mazur
I go into our bedroom closet
with its one blue work shirt, the cuffs
frayed, the paint stains a loopy non-
narrative of color, of spirit.
Now that you are bodiless
and my body’s no longer the body you knew,
it’s good to be reminded every morning
of the great mess, the brio of art-making.
On the floor, the splattered clogs
you called your “Pollock shoes.”
Below – “The Dust Of Time”; “The Woman With Freckles”; “The Woman with red hair”; “An Origami Woman”; “The woman with blue skin”; “Reminiscence.”
Seventy years ago I made a pair of stilts
from six-foot two-by-twos, with blocks
to stand on nailed a foot from the bottom.
If I was to learn to walk on stilts I wanted
them red and I had to wait almost forever
for the paint to dry, laid over the arms
of a saggy, ancient Adirondack chair
no longer good for much but holding hoes
and rakes and stakes rolled up in twine,
and at last I couldn’t wait a minute longer
and took the stilts into my hands and stepped
between them, stepped up and stepped out,
tilted far forward, clopping fast and away
down the walk, a foot above my neighborhood,
the summer in my hair, my new red stilts
stuck to my fingers, not knowing how far
I’d be able to get, and now, in what seems
just a few yards down the block, I’m there.