Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Poetry time

Here's a poem that springs out of my aloneness after my children had moved away.

Nothing lasts

The big empty house is full
Of little ghosts that left penciled
Height marks on the kitchen door frame
And hand prints on the walls.

In the upstairs bathroom a small specter
Stands in front of the sink, on tiptoe,
Trying out nail polish. The small mouth is pursed
The eyes intent, the little hands unsteady,
Dropping a small comment on the countertop.
There it stays, hard and pink.

I scrub around it when I clean, being careful
Not to touch it, not to disturb such a wonderful
Artifact of a previous existence,
But time is wearing it away.
Soon it will be gone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Birds, for the

What is it about birds that fascinates us so? Possibly the idea of flight, of soaring and skimming -- things that we can't do.
But I also like to see birds moving across the water. This pelican looks so solemn, with his long nose and stately mien, cruising across the marshes. I remember the old ditty:
A very queer bird is the pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
And I don't see how in the hell he can.
But it doesn't fit, does it. This bird is beautiful when it swims, and when it flies, oh my it's lovely. Taken west of Logan, June 09.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunset over nothing

You can't miss with a sunset, and a picture of the Bonneville salt flats is always impressive, so how about them both. That empty space in the front of the picture is salt. Caked, hard, flat, and huge. The line near the midline of the picture is six miles away.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Homage to a beautiful child

In this series of blog entries, I want to celebrate beauty and truth as I see it. Generally, I'll be showing my own stuff, because no one else will, usually with a commentary. I want to start, though, with someone else's work.

My daughter Malynda is about to kick her art career off in, of all places, Istanbul, Turkey. I'd like to wish her all the best.

Let me share with you something she did for my niece. My niece, Terry Gifford, has started a foundation that, among other things, gives microloans to women in Bolivia. Here foundation is called SWAN (Serving women across nations), and you can find it at http://www.swanforhumanity.org/ Malynda was to do the logo for the foundation. Her first efforts were not blocky enough for a logo, but are so heartbreakingly beautiful that I appropriated them. I used one as the basis for the name of a sailboat, and sometimes I just look at the others. Here is one of the two versions of the swan that she did. It's a simple line drawing, but it is a nearly perfect depiction of love and protection.