Check out the highlights from the 49th Biennial in Des Moines

Did you miss this year’s Biennial in Des Moines? Pensacola, Florida, Pen Woman Anne Baehr captured the best moments in a video. See what you missed!

Featured Poem: The Nature of Waiting

Jenny Santana
Iowa City Branch

 

I sit

on a park bench

quiet and still

watching the ants

scurry hurriedly along the pavement

and above me

the sparrows fly

puncturing the sky

like liberated darts 

while the monarch butterflies

bounce and weave

on circuitous routes

and wistful bees

perch upon

flowers’ buds

trembling in the air

until

a breeze comes by

and lifts them

haphazardly

away.

Beneath the shifting daylight

of a cloud-speckled sky

as the world turns

with ferocious

velocity

 

I sit

motionless

waiting

for you

to love me.  

 

Poem of the Week: Truth

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member-at-large (Maine)

 

Middle English “trewthe,” from Old English “trēowth” — fidelity;

akin to Old English “trēowe” — faithful — before 1100s

 

“You can’t handle the truth,” screams Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men

“Few people can,” I retort in a whisper

The truth is massaged, covered up, dressed down

Like a tired old body

We see it through steely eyes, red eyes and macular distortion

We bend the truth

We torture the truth

And it is

Often camouflaged

Very rarely is the truth

Open, straightforward as a book, or transparent as glass

Because Jack is right

We just can’t handle the bare, unvarnished truth

The faithfulness of facts with reality

The truth that stings, abrades, hurts

The truth that rips the scab off the skin

Exposing the raw tissue of reality

 

Poem of the Week: Mimosas

Thelma A. Giomi
Yucca Branch, NM
 
Yesterday, I walked under a canopy of mimosa trees,
Maybe a dozen,
Who could count the fragrance was so intoxicating,
The shade so soothing.
Then someone pointed out
That mimosas are inherently messy.
Like being in love,
Or acting on what you say you believe—
Beauty and truth will always be messy,
For those who look down.
 
 

Poem of the Week: Surprise

Elizabeth Yale
Bayou City II
 
I could smell it as soon as I walked in the door
breakfast
pancakes, oil on the cast iron skillet
his face so endearing, bedhead still there
“I made us pancakes with peanut butter and honey”
a sign of his ever deepening love
 
a surprise so simple, offered with tea
changes the heart, prefers to let in
the insatiable gratitude of lovers in part
and the grace of the Spirit evoking a grin
overflowing the vessel, to end is to begin
 

Poem of the Week: The Grass Is Damp

By Barb Whitmarsh

Bayou City ll Branch, Texas 

 

The grass is damp with crystalline dew

Orderly white gravestones

They’re wet too

The flags are lowered

Until dawn

What leaps past it all?

A tiny fawn

Innocence growing bolder

Not a chance

For our lost soldiers

With lives ahead

No matter what for

But they were taken

In chaotic war

Cry, yes cry, spill your tears

Life moves forward

For many years

And if you cannot

Bow in prayer

Show in some other way

You care

Whisper endearing words

That many dear brothers

Never heard

Pat some markers

No matter the ranks

For all we can truly give —

Is thanks

Poem of the Week: Apology in D Minor

Barbara Sillery
Cape Cod Branch

 

The sky is falling.
There’s a hole in the ground.
Hug me. Hug me, now.

 

The road is too narrow.
The hill is too steep.
Hug me, hug me quick.

 

I didn’t do it right.
I didn’t do it at all.
Hug me. Hold me. Please.

 

It just happened that’s all.
It does you know—
flat tires, gray hairs, wrong turns,
hurricanes, fires, floods, pestilence,
and then there’s that big one—Woe.
A half a hug would do.

 

It sounds better in French:
Je ne sâis pas pourquoi—
I do not know why, 
but the logic remains as pitiful.
So perhaps, s’il vous plaît,
un petite hug por moi? 

 

So here I stand
awaiting the verdict,
wishing I could
create a reason,
even an unreason
would be nice.
But what if there isn’t?

 

Hug me anyway?

Art of the Week: Still Life with Peachblow Vase

Kathryn Kleekamp
NLAPW Cape Cod Branch
Still Life with Peachblow Vase
Oil on Canvas
Size: 13″ x 22″
www.SandwichArt.com

 

 

Kathryn was inspired to paint this favorite vase of her husband, Charles. He was given it by his mother, Irene, who was an antique collector. The vase has been featured on a United States Postage Stamp.

 

Art of the Week: Jungle Jewel

Polly Curran
Sarasota, Florida Branch
Photography
Pollycurranphotography.zenfolio.com

 

 

Polly Curran is an award-winning Artistic Nature photographer.   “The natural beauty of each individual leaf or flower becomes a work of art through the camera.  Their natural beauty gives me a strong sense of intimacy in even the smallest things.  I try to bring out the best feature of a flower, leaf or tree to capture the soul of the image.”

 

For Jungle Jewel,the moment she saw this beautiful Heliconia and began to look at all aspects of this tropical beauty it was an emotional experience. As she looked more deeply at this unique flower, searching for its soul, Curran felt a sense of excitement. Her lens found what she was looking for. Her love for haiku poetry, has given her a way to express the emotional moment when she feels that she has found that special beauty in nature. Below is the Haiku Curran wrote for this image:

 

Jungle Jewel.

Light and color abound,

Nature’s treasure

 

Art of the Week: Humming the Blues

Susie Monzingo
Fort Worth, Texas
Humming the Blues, Mixed Media, 11×14
At : Your Private Collection Art Gallery, Granbury ,TX
www.silverliningartwork.com

 

 

Painter of all things in Mother Nature, Susie Monzingo thinks nothing depicts spring in Texas more than bluebonnets and hummingbirds. So she painted both! With an abundance of bluebonnets this year and families all over the area in the fields taking family photos, Monzingo created this work from acrylic on gold leaf background.

 

She said it “reminds me when our daughter was really young and we took her Easter picture in a field of bluebonnets off the side of the road. These scenes evoke sweet memories as I hope this painting will.”