Robert Okaji is raising money for Brick Street Poetry. This is his wonderful response to my suggested title “Scarecrow Visits Van Gogh’s Wheatfield in Auvers”
Scarecrow Visits Van Gogh’s Wheatfield in Auvers
The corvids claim he was a crow. A man,
but a crow, who knew the faith of grain
and light, the atomic distinction
between stillness and the wind’s first
flutter, the shape of loneliness
and dark skies parted by song and
wing. He was a vanishing point,
an all-seeing eye. Or perhaps, dare I say,
one of my kind, separated from his base,
destined to observe, to record in bold,
thick strokes the hues that words
can only negate. In each of his fields,
celebration blossoms. We see what lurks
beneath the surface — that boy
walking outside the frame, a cat
behind the church — conversation
beyond speech. And in the sky, our sky,
crows suspended in directionless glory,
flying to and from, in simplicity, black
on blue and gold, above the wheat, without end.
* * *
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mark not words, but boundaries–
you call them kindred
because they verge on your dreams
waves of receding
spirits returning like stars,
still and glittering
naked and exposed inside the lens of your life
My first sevenling poem, for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge with synonyms for family and peace.
I took the above photo on Broadway, somewhere in the 80s I think. If you look closely you can see my headless figure.
This door belongs to a Con Ed substation at 110th and Amsterdam. The building itself is unmemorable, but I like the design of the door.
I spotted these flowers a few weeks ago when walking in Riverside Park. I had never seen what I thought to be an oak tree flowering before.
I could not figure out its identity until this weekend I saw it had seed pods. They were instantly identifiable online–jimson weed.
A toxic member of the nightshade family, although it does have medicinal and hallucinogenic uses. Evidently animals know to steer clear, but humans fall prey to its effects on a regular basis, not always accidentally.
And I wanted to share the view of the tower of light taken from my window Saturday night.
You can join in Thursday doors here.
With its sepia tint, post-card proportions, and London landmark, this week’s prompt, Sheila Legge’s Phantom of Surrealism, might just as easily have surfaced as part of our previous Kick-About, inspired by the word souvenir – though, as holiday snaps go, this one could take some explaining. This week, Legge’s abstruse tableau has prompted paintings, collage, computer-generated landscapes, creative writing and some rather extraordinary headgear… Happy browsing!
“This prompt made me think of world conditions acting on Surrealists – where do movements come from – so my response is a meld of the flower head with environmental issues, and how I think the level of denial everyone has, to so many issues, comes into play.”
“Using the kind of desert backdrop that sets the stage of many surrealist paintings, I set out to create some of my own phantoms in the desert, and had a…
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I had a few of these going, not necessarily finished. I just thought I’d show you. Work has been on an upswing due to the Delta variant. More patients calling wanting testing because of exposure.
Here are two that happened to look good together. Makes sense as I mix a color and use it in multiple paintings.
I am still fixated in the gouache on black paper. My goal is to make the viewer’s eye move around the whole thing.
We went to our first gender reveal on Saturday-my cute manager at the office who is having her second kid. Working with young people makes me feel gratitude that I’m still relevant. My folks are in the front and me (ochre t shirt and husband Dr Wilson next to me). It’s a girl!
Have a great week.
Just a piece of earth surrounded by walkways, tables with chairs and benches, buildings. A dorm, a student center under renovation, classrooms, a hedge.
Always there are birds. Hopeful begging sparrows, robins searching the grass even in snow, starlings flashing yellow beaks, the red of cardinals and the screech of blue jays. A mockingbird that serenades for nearly half an hour one morning. A nuthatch on the trunk of the tree. A flicker, often heard but never seen. A hawk overhead, and Crow, always loudly demanding attention. New birds we can’t get close enough to identify clearly. We look at photos online and argue about what is closest to what we thought we saw.
Students wander past, occasionally sit for awhile. Children and dogs play on the lawn. But often it’s just the three of us—two coffees, one tea. We walk from uptown and downtown to meet for a few hours together on a sleepy college campus, with the sky above and the sounds of the city fading far away.
turning voices gather un
der branches soon bare
The top photo is of the doors of a Columbia University dorm that sits on one side of the place my daughters and I often meet. Obviously not built recently…
Also written for Brendan at earthweal who asked us to consider how nature and humans can adapt to each other to provide places for both to thrive.
You can join in Thursday doors here.
After the epic, panoramic, and impressionist works riffing on Rutenberg’s Low Dense, I’m delighted to present an all-new showcase of work inspired by the improbable, homespun spectacle of Werner Herzog’s dancing chicken. (That’s not a sentence a person gets to write every day!). I’m delighted too to welcome some new kick-abouters into our midst, creative power-couple Chris Rutter and Evelyn Bennett. Welcome both, have fun!
Chris Rutter & Evelyn Bennett
“We have made a cut up poem from the words of the last scenes in the film. Dance, fuckers, dance!”
“I was a bit bamboozled by the dancing chicken clip from ‘Stroszek’ having never watched the film. So I opted for some zany, silly visuals, featuring the chicken, duck and rabbit! I call it ‘Head Banger Stroszek.’“
“I’m still wallowing in bright colours this…
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This was one I was ready to cut up and although weird, I like it better now.
Here is how it was before:
The little figure is cut out and sitting on my windowsill:
My daughter took a picture of me taking a picture. Funny!
It is a lovely day here in Northern NJ. It promises to be a good week! Nina
the wheel turns–
we follow our tides
ebbing and flowing
Instead of a grid or circle collage this month, I decided to use this embroidery that I just finished. I signed up for a series of video embroidery instruction courses–every two weeks there’s a new one, with new ideas and techniques to learn. That was 2 months ago, and I’ve only just finished the first one…
This was a course on Indian embroidery motifs and techniques given by Saima Kaur. We were to choose a few bright colors and a bright background fabric, with perhaps the addition of black and/or white. My satin stitch has always been sloppy and I thought this would give me plenty of practice for improvement. I can’t say it improved much, though, and I also now know for sure that I don’t enjoy doing satin stitch that much. I did like the long and short stitches I used on the shells, and will use that again.
I love traditional art and the motifs of Indian folk art are rich and full of symbolism. This design is a distilled variation of common figures and themes seen both in Indian art and in traditional and religious art all over the world.
looking for doors looking
for ways to connect
one with another–
walking and looking
for the one door that becomes the center,
the pivot that marks where I turn around
should I retrace my path?
or sit for awhile
and consider how
I came to be here,
thinking of all the doors I haven’t seen–
they are not lost—just waiting to be found
I photographed this mansion on Riverside Drive awhile ago, but my front views were not very good, so I made a special trip back to photograph the front again.
You can’t get close to the front, but the side, on West 89th Street, is very accessible–you can even drive into the doorway.
Built by Isaac Rice, an attorney and investor, in the early 1900s, in 1907 it was sold to cigarette manufacturer Solomon Schinasi, and then to a Yeshiva in 1954. There was a huge battle in 1980 over whether it should be landmarked or sold to a developer who would have knocked it down and built another highrise–Landmarks won out, and it remains a cash-strapped school.
And see more Thursday Doors here. Although Dan is on vacation this week, there are lots of previous posts to peruse.