There is Still A Pond

emerge-mia-tavonatti

There is still a pond there thirty-six years later.
The trees still exist – those I walked by, sat under
In the cold-gray days of childhood solitude.

The country-farmer land and red-ore dirt
still dominate that world like old sentries
standing guard between past and present.
Only the warm bodies, soft voices are gone.

Going back to the town – to the memories – I
visited with the ghosts of my beginnings.
Thought: So this is it.
This is my experience of coming home.

There were no parties, no Sunday picnics
to welcome me. There was only the land
and it’s trees and water, blue sky over mountains.
There was no blackberry cobbler, no strawberry cake.

Only the same roads I learned to drive on.
A new grandchild born in the same hospital
where my daughter was born,
where I first breathed in life. Origin.

The mountains haven’t changed.
They stand quietly watching the valley
filled with third-generation human drama.
Years ago, when I drove away to bigger cities,
some of the old folks were still living.

Time slipped by — years. They slipped away
into some dark unknown-other existence.
I searched for them in the water,
but could see only me clearly –
a shimmering reflection in the pond.

In the clear-white water of childhood
a little blonde-haired girl, green eyes shining,
fueled by curiosity, driven by a desperate need
to seek out Other.

To see and know the wider world –
to see and know myself. Leaving
the ghosts of other days
gently whispering in unison
goodbye again as I drove away.

~Photo Credit: Emerge by Mia Tavonatti
Art Prints

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For the Love of Art and Artists

Photography Prints

I’ve always been a fan of art and artists. Even to the point of marrying one! But, long before meeting my husband, art was firmly rooted in my mind as a flowering garden I would always admire. My first two memories of art as a child revolve around Crayola Crayons and the picture of a horse painted by my mother.

First memory: my Crayola Crayons. I still recall them with great joy (you know, the sixty-four pack with the sharpener in the back)! Unusual names like Sienna, Thistle, Raw Umber, and Magenta conjured up images of a wild, exotic land far away from the rural, humdrum farmhouse of my childhood. I loved coloring as a child, but I could never master drawing.

Eventually, getting bored with coloring and being unable to draw, I went through a spell of melting the various individual crayons and pouring them together in molds to create new color choices. All this under my grandparents watchful eyes, of course, and to the chagrin of my mother and other adults. They would stop by and find me in the dining room with an old cooking pot (donated by my grandmother for the effort) filled with melting crayons on top of the wood stove, the smell of hot wax drifting through the rooms. My grandparents would shush the naysayers with, “she’s just a child.”

“It’s okay. She’s not hurting anything,” was the mantra as they sat watching me stir various colors into tin cans, saucers, and any other makeshift molds I could find. (Just for the record, my grandparents were so darn cool to let me do that!)

Second memory: that cute little brown horse standing in a bright green pasture. I’m not sure the exact age that I noticed the painted pony, but I was young and it was before I started school. It was vivid. I remember asking my grandmother about it. There was a tone of pride in her voice as she explained that my mother had painted it.

My mother had me very young. As a child, I adored her and believed she was the most beautiful creature on the planet. The fact that she had painted this, that she was an artist, made her suddenly mysterious and talented too. I studied the picture often, picturing my mother as she painted; begging to see the picture up close. A request my grandmother often indulged. I would hold it in my hands, staring at each stroke of paint, at the way in which the lines met to create the picture in full.

The picture held great significance because it was the only painting in my grandmother’s house. There were doilies, ceramic plates from various places, trinkets and family photographs on the fireplaces and side tables, but there were no other pieces of art anywhere in the house.

I grew up watching the little horse, trying to draw something that even slightly resembled the horse, or anything “real,” to no avail. The more obvious my inability as an artist became (I couldn’t even manage to get the paint-by-numbers pictures done correctly) the more I admired my mother’s artistic talent. I eventually turned to writing as a way of drawing pictures with words. And words remain the closest I can come to artistry. I am unable to paint with colored pencils, pastels and the like, but I learned to paint pictures with words. And, to a great extent, most of my poems and short-stories and heavy on imagery. I want the reader to see it.

So, loving art and artists as I do, I want to introduce you to a wonderful site: Fine Art America. They have numerous artists with art available in any medium imaginable, as well as offering the ability to purchase original canvas, framed pictures, notecards, etc. They also provide art images with a link for use on blogs that allow you to use the lovely work while correctly crediting the artist. Their mission, per the website says: “FineArtAmerica.com is a social network and e-commerce marketplace for photographers, visual artists, art galleries, and fine art collectors.  Visitors to FineArtAmerica.com can choose from over 1.5 million pieces of original artwork including paintings, sculptures, drawings, mixed media, jewelry, and more!” If you get a chance, please check them out at http://www.fineartamerica.com.

 

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Winter Breeze

Ida Larson Artwork

Queen of Winter, by Ida Larson

Lovers, forget your love
And list to the love of these
She a window flower
And he a winter breeze …

~Robert Frost


It is beautiful outside my window. The Queen of Winter is present –  huge flakes of snow tumble across the sky, tree limbs are holding a treasure of white on their branches, and the ground is a carpet of crystal. It has been snowing since deep in the night – a five-inch layer that’s still growing.

This day and this snow are acceptable – reminding me of snow days as a child when it was a treat to miss school, snuggle under blankets, and drink hot cocoa.

~~~

I didn’t sleep well last night. Too many thoughts, voices, memories coiling through my mind. The replay of my yesterdays filled with happiness, sadness, confusion. It was a long night of restless searching in an unfortunate land.

It is a land I know, one that has been waiting for my arrival – a conversation with an old friend earlier in the week; yesterday spent in quiet review, pouring over old journal entries and falling, tangled in a mixture of heated emotions and dissonance of spirit.

I am always searching for answers in their various forms. A journalistic flaw, I suppose, always trying to answer the Who, What, When, Where, and Why questions of life. The Why always being the most dominant!

Lately, some long-held Why questions have grown into their answers.  It is a deeply bewildering experience even though I’ve known the answers forever.

The power of words is stunning. and though the answer may be known, it holds a different power when it’s spoken aloud. That’s when it becomes real! It now lives ghost-like and shimmering in the light of day. It is a haunting presence that can never be unspoken out of being.

These are the dream-images of realization and epiphany where poems are born. They grow from that place of answers and play through my mind for hours, speaking loudest in the dark moments before sleep comes. Oh, such clear lines and perfect stanzas showing up when I am too tired to get out of bed and write them down!

~~~

I want to believe in the pictures I paint for myself:  of people, life, feelings, and reality.  As if, somehow, in the magic of believing it to be I can create it being. The falsity of this approach becomes clearer to me as I grow older. Most things cannot be dreamed and wished into a better truth – they exist in the reality that is them without magical influence playing a role in the game.

“What matter that the magic doesn’t work?” I have no perfect image of completion in my mind, only small perfect moments I would like to possess.

The truth of what things are and the lessons that stem from that probably have more value overall than the perfections I dream of engineering. Still, it may be that the poet must have an element of believing, a magical perspective that defies logic, in order to see the details that become poems.

Artistry is never about the normal, run-of-the-mill experience. It is always about experiencing that and then transcending it. It is the vision stemming from transformation that speaks to the poet and in the poem.

~~~






To see more artwork by Ida Larson, please visit her gallery at Epilogue.net