The painting you painted for me, and for my siblings, is unlike any other work you’ve ever done.
Different from your other pieces, which are so precise, relentlessly realistic, this painting is full of broad brush strokes, composed of love and light. The painting captures essence and exact truths fall away. Because when I look at this painting a C+ is an A+, a failure is a learning moment, and no matter what I say or do, I can do no wrong.
That’s a very special work of art to have.
This painting you painted for me reflects your humor, and just the sight of it makes me smile. And if this painting depicted you, it would capture your laugh, the endearing way your eyes creased when you told a joke, and the way you beamed when surrounded by family.
This painting began when I was born and grew into something magnificent, a mural expanding over the 28 years I’ve been alive. And no matter where I was or what I went through, when I looked up, this painting was there.
This painting you painted for me. In your humbleness you’d say it’s worth nothing but it’s the lens through which I see the world. And because of this painting, everything I see is colored by your kindness and your light.
This painting, Grandpa, is forever hanging in my heart.
Some are light and airy
As a feather
Blowing on a cottony dandelion
And watching the pieces
Float onto the grass.
Others take all your energy
To even lift
And just when you know what to do
They change form
Slipping through your fingers
But the hardest part
If you’re anything like me
Isn’t the decision,
But the aftermath of one
When regret and anxiety
Swirl manically inside of you
Like a fan you can’t switch off
A fan that’s spinning so fast
It might become unhinged
The days flutter by
While this decision somehow
Shades every aspect of your life
Crawls into parts of your body
You didn’t know
Doubt could reach
Until one morning you wake
And feel a strange sense of
You and your decision
Every day I saw you
I’d smile, say hello
So I decided
Why should I bother?
I didn’t notice
When you were gone
Then they told me
You were sick for months
To a disease
That caused so much pain
And I thought to myself
You never really know
What someone’s going through
I thought to myself
What could it have hurt
To smile once a day
Knowing I wouldn’t get
A smile in return.
Seen along the East River pathway near Carl Schurz Park, after Winter Storm Stella.
walking the winding
east river path
just after snowfall
a few people
scattered here and there
weak, distant lights
straining to be seen
right where the path turns
i see a ballerina
her arms fighting
the pull of the wind
though she has no audience
line up to watch her
and the river reflects
her every move
as i approach her stage
she catches my eye
stopping, for a moment
than completing her pirouette
twirl, bend, twirl, bend, twirl
moving gracefully into the night
just the silence of the city
and the crunch of the snow
beneath her feet
Graphic courtesy of facebook.com/friesenpress
I hate the word “flow,” I really do. But sometimes when you follow the above advice, the words just flow onto the page. There’s a good chance you’ll delete most of those words later on, but you’re in a much better position than simply staring at the screen, trying to force a vision that won’t come.
“moving poetry made with loving hands and minds in NYC“
Hard economic times typically spur dismal messages by struggling artists, but the artists behind Pozie poems want to set optimism in motion.
The idea for these brightly-colored mobile poems was born out of the 2008 financial crisis, founders Rion and Kay Merryweather said.
“The mood was very somber in NYC and we knew we had to do something to help,” said the husband and wife team.
Words like “bold,” “confident,” “enjoy” and “love” are painted on colorful wooden boards and linked together to create inspiring messages that change slightly as the mobiles move. At about $30, these Pozie poems make beautiful, simple and creative gifts or conversation pieces. And the top part is a chalkboard for you to write whatever word (words) you want!
You can purchase and view Pozie poems here on Etsy.
Ted Kooser is a brilliant poet.
I stumbled upon his collection, “Delights & Shadows,” a few years ago and it has influenced my writing ever since.
Kooser, an Iowa native who was the United States Poet Laureate from 2004 to 2006, writes poems that show glimpses of daily life. He has a way of making the mundane fascinating, of making everyday events awe-inspiring.
Kooser maximizes meaning in minimal words. He proves that economy of language is extremely effective. Kooser’s clear, simple, beautiful language is something to be emulated in all writing forms– creative, academic or journalistic.
Listen to an interview Kooser did in 2005 with NPR.
Here’s on of my favorite poems:
A Rainy Morning
by Ted Kooser
A young woman in a wheelchair,
wearing a black nylon poncho spattered with rain
is pushing herself through the morning.
You have seen how pianists
sometimes bend forward to strike the keys,
then lift their hands, draw back to rest,
then lean again to strike just as the chord fades.
Such is the way this woman
strikes at the wheels, then lifts her long white fingers,
letting them float, then bends again to strike
just as the chair slows, as if into a silence.
So expertly she plays the chords
of this difficult music she has mastered,
her wet face beautiful in its concentration,
while the wind turns the pages of rain.