Monthly Archives: October 2015

I need more conflict and tension. Two ne

I need more conflict and tension. Two new approaches today (1) plot tension and (2) starting from middle of the plot to the end and beginning. Writers Write http://ow.ly/U54aq

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On Edward Hopper, Nighthawks

Screenshot 2015-10-17 11.18.46

There is open space, a window

Never many people. Only the

lines converge towards

perspective. The true meaning

is the artist’s reserved space.

Do not intrude.


Continuing this month of October with a tour of master paintings, and using them as writing prompts for poetry. A complete explanation of Ekphrastic poetry starts here with the talented Instructor John Brantingham, a local English professor. Join me!

Sad Sonnet

Screenshot 2015-10-17 13.23.41

Odysseus blinding the Cyclops Polyphemus. Late geometric vase dating to 670 BCE. Earliest depiction of Odysseus and thought to be a burial urn for a young child.


Sleep, sleep this longest of the nights

I’ve tucked and folded your bedding tight.

After tomorrow’s pyre, what shall I fix?

Ashes, then dust, swept in a clay cradle,

A lonesome journey down the river Styx

respite from pain and Life’s betrayal.

I wonder, how will I know that you’re safe?

Odysseus used his wily spear for fight,

our bedtime hero, but you, my small waif?

I only have this urn for your body, so slight.

There was no escaping fate under lamb’s wool.

No happy way to kill the stupid giant

I drew him here, with a rhino, and a bull.

So I’m with you always, strong and defiant.

I will burn incense and send my prayer

to your gray world without disease and fears.

Although I may laugh to battle my despair

inwardly, I’ll be counting down my years.

Sleep, my child, sleep this longest of the nights

I’ve tucked and folded your bedding tight.


Continuing this month of October with a tour of master paintings, and using them as writing prompts for poetry. A complete explanation of Ekphrastic poetry starts here with the talented Instructor John Brantingham, a local English professor. Write poetry, or read it!

Women Ironing

Screenshot 2015-10-09 22.09.26Don’t you know how to iron?

My mother taught me
the British way, pressing
the crispness of a first appearance
on the edges of shirt cuffs
My Canadian granny would lift
country-air starch straight off the line
A Frenchman demonstrated
the naughtiest of tricks, pressing
fashion into parts seen while leaving
a haberdashery of rumples underneath
My mother-in-law instructed me
the German way, putzing
housewifely duty into the fibers
of every cotton product in the house

I am studied and fluent
in the many languages of ironing
My American self makes laundry
permapress easy and wrinkle free

Do you understand now, Husband,
the many ways to explore and press a culture
into the fine white collar of your workshirts?

Pea Cock

Screenshot 2015-10-09 21.55.30

Although I walk in jeans and a T
I march as if covered in great finery
for I am the Shah in this world.
And I’ll pick one, or two, or three
and when I’m done I’ll have some more
of these fine ladies not so demure,
ripe and nude, under a dark chador.

iceberg

The core of the iceberg is solid and ancient and the edges glow blue and irregular but one day this proud immensity obscures the future and swallows its surroundings and the sky is polluted brown and the waves are indigo black only the wood that creaks is warm and movement lives inside a billowing wind and it is mid afternoon ample time for steering hands at the helm and what of that hollow construction is its intention afloat hapless or with confidence and does it hold a mind to measure and the eyes to see

Screenshot 2015-10-09 21.45.41

My Sun and Moon

Screenshot 2015-10-09 17.06.16

Reduce all that is

vexing and annoying

into a distillation of simplicity

Like a patchwork quilt full of color

without pieced work or  careful stitches

meanwhile, this wiggle relaxes while

that uneven deception laughs

Screenshot 2015-10-09 17.03.49as it frolics with reality

creasing into a frown as it

approaches the most senseless

deformation of myself as a woman

gutted by an invasive sun and moon

sprawled lifeless on the museum floor

Smile!

Screenshot 2015-10-09 16.40.21

Spread arms wide and wave!

Tiny speck of a human

wee soul lost in landscape

a lone tree stands witness

grounded in inhospitable rock

birds circle in flight overhead

while the ridiculousness of aliveness

surges through the limbs of this

powerfully sentient being who is

posed and willing to hug the world


This month of October I am thoroughly enjoying a tour of master paintings, and using them as writing prompts for poetry. It is good fun. A complete explanation of Ekphrastic poetry, and the paintings featured, starts here with the talented Instructor John Brantingham, a local English professor. Join me!

Ink line

Screenshot 2015-10-09 21.10.08

the line is set without bait

so jump into this world

follow my scaling curves

of water foam and wave

spring from muddy eddies

outline the boulders and the brook

Screenshot 2015-10-09 21.31.39wood cut straight and thick

along bark and pine-needle

layering the granite heights

with vertigo and strata

leading the way and the path

from earth into the heavens

Daedalus Remembered

Screenshot 2015-10-09 15.39.53

A painter translates Daedalus onto canvas

Drawing the inventor as a field hand who plows

uneven furrows that match the folds of his clothing

A tunic that should be long, flowing and Greek

boats in the background that should be pointed, narrow and sleek

* * *

Bruegel’s painting was medieval, staid and woolen

it captured a day the father remembered forever

the oddly green brightness of the sun as it

reflected upwards into an expansive sky

shining with cheerful possibilities as his child

Icarus slid into the sea with a splash, and died


My parents dragged me through huge museums in every country they visited and the privilege was completely lost on me. However, this month of October I am thoroughly enjoying a tour of old and new master paintings, and using them as writing prompts for poetry. It is good fun. A complete explanation of Ekphrastic poetry starts here with the talented Instructor John Brantingham, a local English professor. Join me!