Romancing the Earth

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“Summer swells our being” she said.

“Yes, and our lust” I reply, thinking less of a coital connection and more of the
voluptuousness of ripe tomatoes companioned with garden basil and fresh garlic.

While my love life is a tangle, I can always rely on rolling fields of summer grass, slippery hikes along a waterfall, air heavy with peach and raspberry, cooling cucumber water and clouds that stroll a cornflower-blue sky.

For now, love and other sorrows lost in the kindness of daisies.

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ag ~ July 2015

In the Distance

The Scent of Mint

Looking across the green of grass 
with daisies and deer in the distance
the first evening crickets chirp and pulse
the twilight of mid summer.

Despite yesterday’s fullness and flurry
a true celebration of summer art
on paved sidewalks –
it is today’s soft rustle of grasses
her summer skirt in full bloom
that beckons and trills
“can you come out play?”

Poets may chime and rhyme
and write edgy poems
that cherry this breath of space
however, it is simply the scent of mint
waiting for the rain
that delights my nose and heart.

Try as I may to break out
into talk beyond my ken
I am led by the hand 
back into a garden 
by she my barefoot child  
who can still wiggle her toes
into the silent words
of earthworm and stone.

ag ~ 2014

Life Is About Moments

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Oh to live in a garden

where fancy flowers bloom

and are merry neighbors

with the weeds and wild ones.

 

Oh what fun

their chatter over and under

the picket fence

that listens in too.

 

Oh what a joy

to know that all

are welcome to play

and rest easy.

 

The breeze that bellows

the rain that floods

ivy that itches

and pollen that sneezes.

 

Nesting birds and those

on summer sabbatical

insects that fly and flutter

crawl and pierce.

  

Fox and raccoon

snakes and snails

a bear ambling for honey

in the hive that hums.

 

Walking barefoot

is essential and lying down

to sky-gaze through treetops

is a prayer.

 

Oh what grace to visit

such a garden

on a lovely Spring morning

or on the windowsill of your heart.

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Abstracting the Meadow

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I love meadows.  I love their simple beauty.  The wild yet friendly feel to the field grasses and wildflowers that bend with the breeze.   I love the color changes throughout the seasons, and all the insect and animal life that meadows support and grow.   Meadows and fields are also a pause – respite for the eye in the landscape much the same as a pond or lake.

And as hard as I try – I have failed to capture its special beauty on canvas in a representational or impressionistic painting.  Somehow, the poetry of the sun and sky on the field is elusive to my brush.  And yet the meadow does show up in my paintings most significantly through its own spirit of color and movement:

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Meadow Dance   ~ 2013

pastel on paper

ag

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plein Air Poet

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I know many wonderful plein air painters, however unfortunate – I am not one of them.  I’ve tried a couple of times to capture the light and beauty of an outdoor landscape using paint and pastel.  I just cannot seem to do it well.  Mosquitoes bite me, flies swim under the brim of my hat, sweat mixes with paint, my pastels fall to the ground, people swarm and ask unanswerable questions.  It’s just not a pretty sight nor is it worth it at this point.   I am outdoors most every day working in one garden or another, so I deal with heat and humidity, wind beyond belief, rain, frost and freezing temperatures all the time.  In order for me to plein air paint – the conditions have to be exquisite as a prerequisite for any fun or success at all.  There are probably about ten of these exquisite days throughout the season, and I am most likely working happily outside anyway.

That being said, however – I do enjoy writing outdoors and try to poet a delectable landscape with painterly words.  My aha moment – I finally got itI am a plein air poet.  It’s amazing how long it takes me to discover truths about myself, but once I do, I am tickled as a teenager.  Even the negative stuff lights a bulb in my brain that allows a conduit for change.

Last Sunday morning I drove to a lovely arboretum in Chester Township, NJ – Willowwood Arboretum.  It is a wonderful native and managed park in Morris County.  Here then is a plein air poem brush-stroked on an exquisite plein air Sunday morning:

Plein Air Poet

I stop at the edge

of a wildflower meadow to watch

the amber and russet grasses

climb a distant knoll.

Goldenrod drifts freely about

and a lone Bluebird house

is vacant for the rest of the season.

At the edge of this meadow

I begin to hear another exchange –

bees humming along flying inside and out

of feverfew and globe thistle.

Slender reeds bend in an easy flow

as birds chirp and flit from treetops and sky.

Crickets continue their morning chitter

as the sun rises in a sleepy stretch.

All is well in the field.

ag ~ 2013

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A Virgo Morning

IMG_8550Early Sunday morning outside my kitchen window…

The action begins –

Too many blackbirds on their way home crowd two small birdbaths waiting a turn for water much the same as the queue for the ladies room at a roadside rest stop.

 

A pair of hummingbirds bicker and rise out-of-sight vying for more than enough air space around the blue sage flowers.

Meanwhile, the sun-kissed Virgo bees are ignoring them and are hard at work.

The silky seeds of milkweed pods float and flutter as the mother plant shoos her offspring out into earth-school.

Leftover strands of once complex summer spider webs continue to dangle and illuminate the sun’s rays.

The woodwind section of crickets resound and echo their  soft chanting.

Maiden Grass plumes delicately nod and sigh like grandmothers in quiet conversation.

A small bunny scampers in and out of grandmother grass’ floor-length skirt.

~

This is my morning world view when I take the time to sit with a cup of tea and acknowledge nature’s other conversations and notes ongoing around me.

For this I am grateful today.

~

blackbirds

crowd and rush

my small birdbath

sipping and spilling

the late summer morning

~

ag ~ 2013