A few years ago I did a Sketchbook Project of haiku and grids based on Monet’s water lilies paintings. So when I saw the dVerse prompt for work based on impressionism, I decided to revisit my obsession with Monet’s work. The Magnetic Oracle was helpful in getting me started, and then I did one on my own.
I think I will be staying with this for a little while again too.
I have two pieces of art and a poem inspired by the great Nina Simone and her song “Wild is the Wind” on Marianne Szlyk’s musical blog “The song is…” You can see them here, along with a fun essay by Bill Cushing on not driving. Marianne has also included a link to the song, as well as a variety of other musical pleasures.
“The song is..” features a lot of interesting writing, art, and music, so take a look around while you’re there.
the task: a gesture,
a conversation beyond
white. Abstractions act
into the familiar and
hold it close. Timeless.
I wanted to acknowledge the great Howard Hodgkin, who died this week at age 84. My collage is an homage to his painting, above, “For Matisse”. His work often evokes windows, a subject Matisse was fond of as well.
The poem uses the secret keeper’s words for this week.
If you see fire, if
fire is spilled, smothered by rain,
stolen from the sun–
are bridges burned, rivers run
dry? A cold flaming. Unquenched.
James Taylor released his album “Sweet Baby James” in 1970, the year I graduated from high school. It was a constant in my life for the next few years, and remains a touchstone for remembering that time.
When Colleen title her tanka challenge this week “Fire and Rain”, James Taylor’s song immediately began to play in my head. Almost all the songs on “Sweet Baby James” talk about the sun, yet there’s a touch of melancholy in every word. Colleen’s prompt photo, too, seems to reflect these contradictory feelings. Endings, beginnings: fire and rain. My tanka is an imagined conversation with the album and the song.
You can read the lyrics to “Fire and Rain” (the source of my tanka’s title) and listen to the song here. James discusses some of his songs for Rolling Stone, with musical accompaniment, here. (But you don’t need to explain yourself, James. We understand these feelings only too well.)
Restive stillness: cell
cracks open. Expel
darkness, pausing, touching seed.
The singing begins;
winter sheds its skin.
Spring’s sparkling dance uncoils, freed.
This poetic form is called the Alouette; you can read about its meter and rhyme scheme here. I started with the Secret Keeper’s weekly prompt words, but revision has eliminated “health”–I know the Thesaurus says “dance” is a synonym, but really, that’s a pretty big stretch. Related in spirit anyway.
Light reveals an opening, a net
caught by what is broken, muddied, wet;
scattered stones and history unmet.
Tangled edges under/over ground,
traveling as lines that make no sound,
camouflaged by fragments lost, unbound.
What remains? The inside of the fray:
all the shadowed hours that mark the day.
Every path holds dreams, or so they say.
I decided to do something a little different for Sue Vincent’s “Bridge” photo prompt, below, this week. I took the photo and abstracted it and then painted it. I wanted to have a subtle color variation, so I used only 5 colors (green, orange, 2 browns, and grey) plus black and white, and mixed them in different proportions.
The poem is in a form that Jane Dougherty used a few days ago, which has 3 stanzas of 3 rhyming lines each, with each line containing 9 syllables. I liked the rhythm, and playing with numbers and words is something I enjoy. I always find that thinking about rhymes, too, causes me to see things I might otherwise not.
Teresa reminded me on last month’s selfie day that I’ve been falling behind in my monthly self-portraits. This is another one based on a Vanessa Bell painting, with commentary by the Magnetic Poetry Oracle. I did it twice, although I’m not that crazy about either version. Perhaps I’ve been away from painting for too long. Or maybe it’s the blue in the eyes.
in elaborate languages
in moon skin
beneath the shadow
You can see the entire self-portrait series so far here.