This Date in Art History: Died 8 June 1956 – Marie Laurencin, a French painter.
Below – “Reunion a la campagne”; “Les Desguises”; “Young Girls”; “Le Bal elegante, La Danse a la campagne”; “Young Girl with Dog”; Untitled.
This Date in Literary History: Born 8 June 1920 – Gwen Harwood, an award-winning Australian poet and playwright.
by Gwen Harwood
Daybreak: the household slept.
I rose, blessed by the sun.
A horny fiend, I crept
out with my father’s gun.
Let him dream of a child
old no-sayer, robbed of power
by sleep. I knew my prize
who swooped home at this hour
with day-light riddled eyes
to his place on a high beam
in our old stables, to dream
light’s useless time away.
I stood, holding my breath,
in urine-scented hay,
master of life and death,
a wisp-haired judge whose law
would punish beak and claw.
Below – Lawn Walker: “Barn Owl”
Below (photographs) – “Lie III”; “Birth of Russian Venus – Blanc”; “Cupid and Fight for Love IV”; “Spirit of indomitable courage IV”; “Atlas Shrugged”; “Power II.”
A Poem for Today
by Rhina P. Espaillat
My mother’s mother, toughened by the farm,
hardened by infants’ burials, used a knife
and swung an axe as if her woman’s arm
wielded a man’s hard will. Inured to life
and death alike, “What ails you now?” she’d say
ungently to the sick. She fed them, too,
roughly but well, and took the blood away—
and washed the dead, if there was that to do.
She told us children how the cows could sense
when their own calves were marked for butchering,
and how they lowed, their wordless eloquence
impossible to still with anything—
sweet clover, or her unremitting care.
She told it simply, but she faltered there.
Below – Lerri Baldo: “Tenderness”
Below- “Blue umbrellas”; “City on the Coast”; “Morning”;
“California”; “After rain”; “Tahoe Redwoods.”
A Poem for Today
“In the Fourth of July Parade”
by Rosemerry Wahtola Trimmer
Right down the middle of main street
the woman with the long red braids
and fairy wings strapped to her back
rode a unicycle more than two times
taller than she was—rode it with balance
and grace, her arms stretched out,
as if swimming through gravity,
as if embracing space—her smile an invitation
to join in her bliss. How simple it is, really,
to make of ourselves a gate that swings open
to the joy that is. How simple, like tossing
candy in a parade, to share the key to the gate.
Below – Johan Swanepoel: “Lady on a unicycle” (photograph)