Poem: On Viewing a Skull Painting by Georgia O’Keefe

I love Georgia O’Keefe’s quirky paintings and perspective.  She did a lot of work using skulls, which seems quite natural. New Mexico must yield all sorts of bones in the mountains and deserts. Just as she studied and painted flowers, so she did the same with animal bones and skulls. She was very prolific in her work, painting a skull or pelvis in many views, often accompanied by a flower or other desert item. Many didn’t like her bone paintings, but that didn’t deter her in the slightest. Even her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz, was initially critical of them. He later relented, as did most critics. To find beauty in death and decomposition and to create art that is somehow mesmerizing and thoughtful is quite an accomplishment.

This poem is from my chapbook (Erasing the Doubt (c) 2015, Finishing Line Press). It is hidden amongst just a few of these wonderful paintings.

okeefe and skull

Georgia O’Keefe and cow skull

 

 

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Bob’s Steer Head by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1936

Cow's Skull with Roses

Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1931

 

 

 

On Viewing a Skull Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe

 

  1. The Artist’s View of the Skull as Form

 

The sinuous curve
hollowed circle
smooth chalky bone
worn smooth, it goes
beyond the form
behind the slow dip
of the arching eye
twisting and curving
back on itself

 

2. The Skull’s Perspective

 

At first it all felt wrong,
reversed, bent forward
in a geometric embrace
of mass and space,
the brush stroke
through the hollow eye
that will never see,
beyond to the delicate shell
of the brain
that will never again think,
moving slowly
into that shadow of light
the sky insinuates itself in color
and it is there
that you alone can wander,
deep inside the form that is me

 

Georgia O'Keeffe, Ram's Skull with Hollyhock, in 1935

Georgia O’Keeffe, Ram’s Skull with Hollyhock, (c) 1935

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Deer’s Skull with Pedernal by Georgia O’Keefe (c) 1936

 

 

Bell flowers ~

 

 

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   Campanula sp, Blue Bellflower. – Watercolour by Greta Mulligan (Australia)

I was very fortunate to have one of my haiku included in the May 2016 issue of brass bell: a haiku journal, curated by Zee Zahava. This month’s theme was Small Things.  To read all the other excellent haiku, please visit:         http://brassbellhaiku.blogspot.com

 

 

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Silk Strands, a New Haiga

Fall's Footprints

This haiga appeared on Daily Haiga on March 23, 2016.  I would like to thank my dear friend, Sheppy Vann, for allowing me to use her beautiful photograph for this piece.

Here is the link to the original:  http://www.dailyhaiga.org/haiga-archives/1805/-fall-s-footrpints-by-mary-kendall-usa

 

 

silk thread**

The first blossom of spring…

What a joy it is to open a journal–online or in print–and find your own work included among poems by poets you admire greatly. March 1st has been a special day since several wonderful publications all appeared on the same day. I’ll post separately for each journal, since I am hoping that you will go directly to the journal and read the work of the other poets that are included.

The first one is a very lovely journal, Wild Plum – a haiku journal, edited by Gabriel Sawicki who lives in Poland. This is volume 2, issue 1.  https://wildplumhaiku.wordpress.com

A feature I love is that the new isssue downloads as a pdf file to enjoy now as well as later:  https://wildplumhaiku.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/wild-plum-spring-summer-2016.pdf

I have two pieces included in this issue:

The first is a haiku on page 45:

 

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and the second piece is a Haiga (page 11) using a photo I took from our flat in London looking out at the twilight sky of Bedford Square Gardens:

 

Winter light 2 Haiga

 

I hope readers will come to realize that meditation is very natural and we often do it without trying, especially at times such as studying a beautiful sky and clouds. Those moments are very centering, and you find yourself breathing more slowly and feeling more relaxed. I hope my Haiga conveys that to you.

 

snow on branch blue sky

Another Love Poem…

 

 

tuileries chairs

Photograph (c) 2010 by Patti Chronert

 

Another Love Poem…

If you’d like to hear me read this poem, please click on the link below. Wait a few seconds for it to load. I hope you enjoy both listening and reading this love poem.

 

 Another Love Poem…

~ To my husband and partner of forty years ~

 

We walked along in the Tuileries
alone among the chestnut trees,

morning sky of crisp pale gold
so many paths we have strolled,

and still we wander, just us two,
my heart never very far from you.

We stop to sit and watch the birds
green park chairs, unspoken words,

plain sparrows chirp, so unadorned
no beauty lost, no beauty mourned.

Simple thoughts are often most true—
no man was ever loved more than you.

 

 

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Heart Stone by Mary Kendall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pale Ghosts…

photo by jim clark, American Beech Trees

American Beech Trees, (c) Photograph by Jim Clark

It was a very exciting moment last week for me to open up the latest issue of Moonbathing, a journal of women’s tanka, and see one of my own tanka included. To be in the company of so many very talented tanka poets is a highlight of my year.

Published by poet and editor, Pamela A. Babusci, Moonbathing is a journal that showcases the many sides of tanka. The poems cover a wide variety of experiences, emotions and subjects…and all written by talented women poets.

Here is my tanka:

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Moonbathing is edited and published by Pamela A. Babusci

 

 

Beech Leaves by Walter Reeve

American Beech Leaves, (c) Photo by Walter Reeves