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.
This started out as lines on a large sheet of paper. It became a face wearing a beehive hat (no bees though, those are leaves).
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.)
I had been thinking about Draw a Bird day but when I saw Kerfe’s rooster I sat down with paint. This family came out (birds) but I realized it was also a metaphor for my current family dynamic (three adults, one with ADD, living in a small nest). It does make me go up to my art room and paint more so there’s that. Anyway, happy Draw a Bird day, honored tradition on WordPress, and a shout out to all the great people who “flock” here.
Arches paper, gouache, colored pencil.
The crown of red
set on your little head
is charged with all your fighting blood.
Yes, that excrescence
makes a most virile presence,
plus all that vulgar beauty of iridescence.