Wandering in Woodacre – 23 June 2021

Contemporary Russian Art – Mariia Chernyshova

Below – “Bus Stop II”; “Portrait of a girl in pink”; “Estuary”; “Ghosts”; “Washing”; “By The Fire.”

A Poem for Today

“Passing Through”
by Ted Kooser

I had driven into one side of a city,
and through it, and was on the way out
on a four-lane, caught up in the traffic,
when I happened to glance to my right
where a man stood alone smoking,
fixed in the shade of a windowless
warehouse, leaning back into a wall
with one shoe cocked against it,
the other one flat on the pavement.
He was beside me for only an instant,
wearing a short-sleeved yellow shirt
and gray work pants, as the hand
that held the cigarette swept out
and away, and he turned to watch it
as with the tip of a finger he tapped
once at the ash, which began to drift
into that moment already behind us,
as I, with the others, sped on.

Below – Prisac Nicolae: “Smoking man #2”

Contemporary American Art – Karen Clark

Below – “Spring”; “The Wanderers”; “Night of the Falling Stars”;
“Hollywood Hills”; “Translucent #7”; “The Last Empress” (photograph).

A Poem for Today

“For Paul”
by Patrick Phillips

I can see you through the bonfire, with us.
A fifth of Old Crow circling the dark.

Where did that whole life go? In Texas
the chemo inches toward your heart,

things always dwindling to just the two of us,
a crumpled cigarette, a distant car:

our voices, at dawn, so clearly posthumous.
Woodsmoke rising to the ashy stars.

Below – Andrei Engelman: “Sky fire, earth fire”

Contemporary American Art – Katryn Bowe

Below – “Cosmos Felix”; “Hiroshi”; “Rainier alight”; “Secours Scape”; “Cosmos MP”; “Ansel’s Fall.”

A Poem for Today

“What Makes a Pearl”
by Emily Rose Cole

When she died, I took my mother’s socks,
those fuzzy polka-dotted ones she’d worn

in hospice. I wore them all through winter.

Maybe that’s creepy. But is it really so different
from the necklace she willed to me,

that single pearl clinging to its strand of silver?

The necklace isn’t creepy. Every day for a year
I hung it over my heart, even in the shower,

even when it felt heavy as a beggar’s first coin.

I want to say that having these things was like having a scar
but worse. In winter, socks are as inevitable as scars,

except there’s more choice in it: when I was cold,
I chose which socks, and whose.

But I’m wrong. These tokens I harvested
from her deathbed are more like the pearl,

or rather, what makes a pearl:

that piece of sand, the irritant that the nacre
builds itself around, that tiny, everyday object

that, little by little, learns to glow.

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