In Profile

I sketch his profile—the musician with a harmonica almost hidden in his large hands. His glasses slipping down his nose, and his mop of hair unruly. The line work is strong loose abstract. Maybe I’m the only one who recognizes his presence. The gesture, the tilt of his head, the music I’m hearing. 

 

Cowgirl Art

My back to sort-of-normalcy in the new year begins today–a week into January already. The temperature outdoors is moderating–a balmy 20 degrees and rising after a long and gripping windchill in the minus column. Last week also featured a “bomb cyclone” that galloped through like cowboys on wild ponies and a whirlwind of weekend birthday celebrations. I’m actually looking forward to vacuuming, making soup and painting–routines and chores a  little lost in all the commotion of the past couple of weeks. It will be just fine to settle into Winter’s subdued pace and beauty and back to sustained creative practice.

spicy-colored gift paper collages into a new palette

© ag ~ 2018

 

Storm Energy

Thankfully, yesterday’s storm day was enjoyable for me. I had heat and electricity, fun food and the company of out-of-town relatives. There wasn’t too much snow to shovel and enough time to cook, bake, watch the news to see what others were doing in the storm and imbibe cocktails with dinner seated on the couch around the television — otherwise a big no-no in my home. Storm energy, under the right circumstances, can be an excuse to be a big kid again. Take that day off to goof around a bit. I do understand and appreciate the pain and circumstances for those less fortunate as well as those called out to plow and keep civilization running. They were in my prayers and thoughts. However, whenever there is the opportunity to engage in child’s play — like chin up catching snowflakes on your tongue — I’m in. Because there’s always the next day or moment when we are called back into being the adult who doesn’t have enough time to play in the snow.

hot cocoa with cayenne
cranberries and ginger
this old house remembers

© ag ~ 2018

Hot Hot Hot

Across from where I sit at my computer in my farmhouse dining room, is a large framed print of three elder and matronly West Indian women chopping and cooking. Their shoulders are hunched up, and their breasts sag under cotton dresses and white aprons. They wear wide-brimmed hats or yarn watchman caps that fit in with their unfussy work. These women know their stuff and are cooking for a crowd at the local fish fry most likely on a Friday night, probably tonight as I write this. The food is spicy, the steel band is rhythmic and the cool Caribbean water is in the background.

It is 11 degrees and dropping outside with a windchill below zero. I’ve had this print for about 30 to 35 years now, and all during the long winter months — it never fails to bring a warm smile to my face.

on their ample hips
dem women wear the cadence
and color of the sea

© ag ~ 2017

 

 

 

A Moment

Let me enjoy this moment.

It’s just past daybreak Sunday early September.

In fact, it’s a late Labor Day weekend this year and
with the flux and flummish of school traffic starting,
beach trips ending and a flourish of block-party
bbqs – things are still all mixed up. The soft whirring
of crickets and bird choirs are the morning’s only
sounds and conversation. No leaves rustling, no heat,
no full sun yet – after a summer of only sun and barely
an occasional shower during the night.

I am propped up in bed (oh how deliciously derelict
for me – it’s almost 7 AM!) with only a trip to the
farmer’s market planned, a day at my easel and a new
composition notebook to write in with new graphite pencils.
The dog is still snuggled in her bed, still unaware
that her belly is empty and her bladder full. I was
going to check the weather on the internet but decided
what for?

“What for?” this moment?

A sketch, really a study an artist tacks up on
her wall or in her journal to show and allow that
the wonder of infinite possibility and creative play
really begins and lies in her own hand holding
a brush a pencil a pen a poem a stillness, a moment
and much much more.

 

IMG_2345

NaHaiWriMo #28

Last day of National Haiku Writers’ Month.

I have not reviewed what I wrote over this past frigid month, but I know that the extreme cold and snow were featured extensively. Some haiku are good, some so-so and others not-so, however I managed to write about some part of each day during February and January with as much poetic spell as I could muster. For my last haiku, I would like to dedicate it to a wonderful haiku writer/editor/publisher and teacher. He coined the phrase “poetic spell” and was a strong, although faraway (over an ocean) voice, who helped me grow my poetry. Martin Lucas passed away into the great poetic spell last year. His wisdom, common sense and poetry are greatly missed and remembered with affection and gratitude. Martin was an avid birder as well as poet and nature lover.

 

snow on the dunes nesting sites emerge from a cloudless sky

for Martin

 

ag ~ 2015