A Night of Poetry and Art

Recently, my daughter, Mira, and I attended the opening of The Language of Art, my first group show at Edgewater Gallery in Middlebury, VT. The opening was fantastic. The gallery collaborated with a local group of writers, the Spring Street Poets, by having this talented group create original work in response to different paintings in the show. The other artists in the show are: Holly Friesen, Robert O’Brien, Victoria Blewer, Margaret Gerding, and Liz Hoag. I’ve included images and text of the poets who wrote about my work here. It was quite a moving experience to hear the poets’ thoughtful responses to the different paintings.

Mary Pratt reads  Birds on Wires , her lovely riff on my painting  Treble Clef  (on the wall behind her).

Mary Pratt reads Birds on Wires, her lovely riff on my painting Treble Clef (on the wall behind her).

Birds on Wires

 

After making music for hours—

practicing the piano, 

singing with a chorus—

I can see tunes even when 

I close my eyes—

 

black notes on thin lines, 

alphabet of melody. 

I’m teaching my grandson

to see the patterns: 

Look! I tell him, 

 

those dots all in a line 

are the same

sound. Shall we

sing it?He is so 

young that learning 

 

is not a chore. 

He looks and laughs. 

Later, when I see birds 

on wires, I can’t help 

but hum the score.

 

—Mary Pratt 

 

Ray Hudson reads  View from a Bus , a poem about moving on, inspired by my painting  Soft Landing  (on the wall beside him).  .

Ray Hudson reads View from a Bus, a poem about moving on, inspired by my painting Soft Landing (on the wall beside him). .

View from a Bus 

 

It’s a three-day holiday and when you get back 

you’ll notice I’ve done the dishes

and vacuumed the living room. You’re good 

 

at making deductions. I left the Aran sweater,

one of the matched pair your mother gave us, 

somewhere in the bedroom. I took 

 

two red stones and my favorite cup. Outside 

thirteen birds ascend with predictability 

into a sky mirrored in steel or mica or tinsel 

 

and mud. They pause in midflight, proof 

of what the unencumbered eye can do, can break free, 

rest in mid air, on the thin wire that carries 

 

the voices of parents and lovers, those pre-recorded 

solicitations. Soft landings are still landings. 

 

—Ray Hudson 

 

Kari Hansen reads  Stay a Little Longer  next to my painting with the same title. I love how her poem really inhabits the painting.

Kari Hansen reads Stay a Little Longer next to my painting with the same title. I love how her poem really inhabits the painting.

.
Stay a Little Longer

 

I want the birds to stay 

I want the sun to stay 

I want the clouds to stay 

I want the blue to stay 

I want the day to stay 

I am a fiend of wanting. 

 

This moment, this should stay. 

 

Those moments. 

 

The hurl of a goodbye, the final

page, the end of you, 

of us, of living, of moving, 

of feeling full. 

Empty hands. Empty heat. 

That’s when the me in me 

might become dismal. 

 

But, I am willing to stand aside, 

choose my reactions. 

Be willing to alter my perceptions. 

Become nonjudgmental. 

Buddha-like. 

Elevate. 

 

I await enlightenment… 

 

Who am I kidding? 

 

—Kari Hansen