Thursday, June 7, 2012

Moving Day

I am moving and combining my blogs to a single WordPress Blog. There are all kinds of reasons that are likely unimportant to anyone but me. You can now find my blog here. Everything that is here, is there, and lots more besides.

Please go visit my new digs, and bookmark the new site.


Photograph: After Art Class

Some of you know that I have been taking art classes, piggy backing onto a class that Rona has been taking. I've been doing pen and ink pictures for many, many years, but I have always sort of been afraid of color, and art class has been for me, a little liberating as I experiment and play with color.

Ruth Sauer, who runs the North Main Gallery in nearby Salem, NY is our teacher. A delightfully encouraging teacher and an artist who has never lost the childlike sense of "what if?", she's brought out Rona's own inner artist (which is quite good.), and has allowed me to experiment happily, like a child.

My art so far? Well, I am beginning to like what I produce. And much to my surprise, since I am a detailed pen and ink guy, I am finding I have a major impressionistic streak. But this week, I found my palette after I was done far more interesting than my art work.

I'm not quite sure what that means!


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Poem: Invisible Art

Invisible Art

It is warm outside,
but dark clouds pass by
spitting rain in bursts,
before wind casts them to the horizon
and the sun returns.

You are dry and shadowed,
sitting under a vast canvas tent,
surrounded by strangers
who have all come to bid
on tiny parts of yet another
stranger's life, buying

the trinkets and framed history,
the worn objects and odd treasures
that drew them, like road kill
draws black buzzards, while
you look up

at pine shadows, texture and light,
a painting fleeting as the wind,
more memorable than death.


Rona and I took in an auction last Sunday. I came back not with a thing, but with this picture, of the shadow of a pine tree on the tent we all sat in. You can click on it for a larger version.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Poem: Auction


They are selling everything,
the furniture, worn with use,
the paintings, dusty and faded with age,
every pot and pan,
all of your life in things
exposed out of context,
held up to a "what will you give?",
a life dispersed,
no longer held together
by spirit and soul,

each stranger here,
for the price of a few dollars
carrying a part of you home,
a tool, a glass horse, china,
to keep with a new meaning,
or sell themselves,
setting your life even more adrift.

A few perhaps are here to grasp
a piece of you to remember,
a lamp, a rug for the fire, a teapot,
something to keep your memory
brighter, to capture a flicker
of you and let it dance
in their homes,

but at the end of the day, the last
trunk is sold. The walls are empty.
The house echos hollowly,
and you are only a ghost,
your haunting thinned by the auction,
but somehow,
never quite extinguished,

your spirit lingering,
like a face in the glass,
reflected, ready, waiting
for something uncertain,
for some one bright, worn, and new.


Yesterday Rona and I went to an estate auction (where the picture was taken.), where much to my surprise, I met a friend of mine, another writer, who along with his artist wife, is buying the house and farm that was being sold in front of our eyes.

The juxtaposition between watching everything this 103 year old woman had owned being sold, and listening to my friend talk about their plans for the farm struck me, and from it, burbling through the night, came this poem, the only thing I brought home yesterday.

You can click on the image for a larger version.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Poem: After the Rain

After the Rain

After the rain,
the ground is soft,
and weeds
can be pulled from the earth


True for gardeners. True for life.

The picture was taken in Pompei, Italy. You can click on it for a larger version.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Poem: The House Stands

The House Stands

The house stands,
listing to one side,
stripped of paint
by time and weather,
of floods and neglect,
windows broken and boarded.

Vines grow through the doorway,
twisting outside, snake like,
then climbing
up trees,
whose dark roots rise
thick and powerful, grasping
towards the foundation.

The walls cry a song
not of death,
but of reminder -
"Here once was life.
Lovers danced on my floors
and children laughed
as they ran down stairs
to play

in the same river
that rose against me
in times of storm."

The grey walls croon.
" Do not cry for me,
for as long as I stand,
there is hope
of redemption."

The house stands.


Last night, when Drewry and I went to First Fridays at the Pember, a local arts event in nearlby Granville, NY, we also walked to the Slate Museum, where there was more art on display, and I saw this house, perched on the riverside. You can click on it for a larger version.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Poem: Dead Things

Dead Things

Your mind is full of dead things,
carefully reconstructed
from corpses,
each limb and truth,
forced into shapes
that to a stranger, look like truth,
look like the museum piece
you want remembered,
to the discerning eye,
to one who has seen
these things,
now in glass cases,
when they were alive,
when their hearts beat
so close you could hear them sing,
then they will know what you
that your museum is not art,
or life, but merely a collection
of dead things.


The picture was taken at the Pember Museum in Granville, NY earlier tonight. You can click on the image  for a larger version.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Poem: One of those Moments

One of those Moments

This is one of those moments
when the path is straight,
when the sky is clear,
and you only need walk forward, even

if you cannot see the end, even
if you know this moment is just
this moment, and
rains will come, the path will wind, and

you will find yourself lost
in darkness, for now
the path is straight,
the sky is clear.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Poem: The Necessary Poetry of Things

The Necessary Poetry of Things

All around us,
they sit, quiet,
their lives secret,
quietly broken, chipped,
worn beyond recognition, yet
still compelling.


The picture was taken at Andy Key's and Steve Decker's antique shop in Salem, NY. You can click on it for a larger version.


Poem: Cool White Blindness

Cool White Blindness

Early morning, and you know, somewhere,
the summit awaits, somewhere
there is a path up the mountain, even
if fog obscures the ridgeline, somewhere
there is sun, and
you are faced with a choice:
wait for the sun
to burn away the fog, hoping
that it does not instead turn
to rain, or walk,
into the mist.

You step forward,
half in fear,
half in anticipation, into
the cool white blindness.


The picture was taken near Pawlet, VT. You can click on it for a larger version.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Poem: Vertigo


The stairs from your grandparents' house,
are unchanged two decades
after their death,
a passage back in time,
curved and Hitchcock like,
taking you to a time
of mixed memories,
leaving you with
of the heart.


These really are the stairs to my grandparents house in Surry, Virginia. You can click on the picture for a larger version.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Poem: Art Class

Art Class

You draw,
not well perhaps,
with tiny lines, not quite straight,
proportions less
than perfect,
the tower leaning,
like a tree battling a hundred years
of winds,
not the stuff of art school,
a clutterscape
of pen and ink,
details abound, and yet
the impression
is abstract,
not the stuff of museums
or glossy magazines,
but something else,
something that resonates
with line and color,
the black ink, scratched
on textured white paper
crying out
for order and fairy tales
that we dream of,
yet never quite
come true.

And yet,
long after class is over,
and the teachers are gone,
you draw
your life, flawed,
at times smeared and untidy,
beautifully imperfect,
but undeniably,
and unexpectedly,


The photo is of a drawing I did a while back. (yes, I draw, just as imperfectly as the poem suggests). It hangs in my studio. You can click on it for a larger version.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Poem: Quarry Walking

Quarry Walking

It is hot,
and your muscles,
no longer young,
feel the effort of climbing,
yet another mountain
senselessly standing
in your path,
another wall of slate,
grey, harsh and hot
from the day's sun,
edges sharp and shifting,
unstable ground
that echoes through the quarry
as if falls under your feet.

Steam rises, remnants
of last night's rain,
now filling the air
with breath robbing moisture
that mingles with your sweat
in the late May sun.

You climb,
not because you have
any sense
of a destination. No,
that belief, that there is a place
of rest,
left you years go, and now
you climb
because it is all you know, because
the sweat and aches,
the cuts on your hands
and heavy breath
tell you
you are still alive.


The picture is from the slate quarry in West Pawlet, taken a month or so ago when my son was visiting. You can click on it for a larger version.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Poem: What Happens

What Happens

What happens
when you disappear;
when you grow silent
not for hours
but days, weeks, longer still?

When your normal haunts
no longer see you each morning,
coffee in hand, smile
on your face, when

slowly drains your life, leaving
a ghost,
a memory,
a wisp of fog

that burns
in the morning sun,
who remembers,
and how?

What happens?
Is there a hole somewhere
besides your own soul, or
does light flow in
to the vacuum
and you find yourself utterly


The picture is a camera "mess up" from a picture taking session about a month ago. It shows nothing, which seemed to match the poem.