Art of the Week: Ray Walls Dune Shack

Kathryn Kleekamp
Cape Cod Branch

Ray Walls Dune Shack.
Oil on Canvas


Members of our Cape Cod Branch of NLAPW enjoyed a fall trip to the beautiful Provincelands at the outer tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Kathryn Kleekamp was inspired to create this painting as a result of what she calls “that magical afternoon”. Of her work, Kleekamp says:

“This is a painting of Ray Walls Dune Shack, one of seventeen ‘shacks.’ These primitive and defiant structures, battered by ocean winds and the elements, have long provided a refuge for artists and writers who seek to be surrounded by the natural world. The shacks are maintained by their original owners or their families, but two shacks are available via lottery to lucky artists or writers who apply for one week residencies.”

You will find more examples of Kathryn Kleekamp’s work at 


Poem of the Week: When Night Falls

by Barbara Menghini Whitmarsh
Bayou II, Texas Branch

painting for poem, When Night Falls

Leo J. Menghini, artist


When Night Falls

When night falls at the foot of the mountains

Red men from Pueblos

Climb ladders

To mingle in galaxies

Challenge Sagittarius in archery

Feed pieces of the Ram to the Dog Star

Then chase him from camp

His tail a cowering comet

They declaw Ursa Major

To make necklaces for their chiefs

Rub the dust of stars

On the bites of Scorpio

Topple the Northern Cross

Pray again to old gods

Then descend in moonlight

And rise again with the dawn


Note from Barb: The painting is by my father who painted it years before I wrote the poem at 16. I was all into astronomy back then. When my father died in 1994 my brother Joe got the painting. I got a few of his other pieces. His hobby was painting but he ran the corporate graphic art department at McGraw Hill for 40 years. My husband surprised me by combining the two. I never even thought of it.

Obviously, dad wasn’t in NLAPW, but when I became a member he was very proud. His name was Leo J. Menghini, a proud and dutiful man.

Barb W.


Poem of the Week: Trust

Elizabeth Sharon
Bayou City Branch 2


it’s a relationship with a greenish hue

old copper rust through time

a penny awash in the sea of hands

ole miss Liberty in the sun


when it was new, shiny, freshly minted

there was trust in what was seen

in what lay beneath the gleam

but sorely still the glimmer fades


each broken trust and confidence

an oxidized splotch, a leaking flue

and in the process, sore through life

trust lost a part and fell to rust


Art of the Week: “Memories Quiet Interlude”

Dawn Petrill

Central Ohio  Branch

Memories Quiet Interlude

 30” x 30” Acrylic and Mixed Medium



Memories Quiet Interlude was inspired by a walk with my dog by a stream.  Time seemed to stand still as I gazed at the place where the water changed course at the horizon and I decided to recreate that feeling in this painting.


The painting includes embedded objects and textures.  I do this in much of my work because I feel that it gives them an added dimension as well as something new to look for with every viewing.


This painting was recently juried into the Ohio State Fair’s Fine Art Exhibition, Professional Division, and was on exhibit there from July 26- August 6, 2017.



Attention Pen Women! We’d love to see your best work for possible publication as Art of the Week. Please review the general submission guidelines on our web site and send only one work per email as a low resolution file. Put Art of the Week Submission in the subject line and provide the information seen in the posts (title/medium/name/branch). Your submission may then be made to Darlene Yeager-Torre at Thank you!

Poem of the Week: CAGED

by Jeannie Carlson
Member-At-Large, St. Petersburg, Florida


Soullessly a sleek and sinewy

Striped cat stalks

Too small a cage.

She paces proud protuberant paws

The space of her confinement.

Unresigned to a fettered fate,

Felinity is ever ready

To pounce ferociously to freedom.

Clawing a crevice,

Only her whisker

Can claim bristly visit

The incalculable void.

Undaunted, the direct

But stoic semiprecious eyes

Seductively suggest

One dare approach…

Either to set her free

Or be devoured.


Art of the Week: Monet’s Garden

Artist: Fran Hall, Marin County Golden Gate Branch

Medium: Oil on canvas

Title: Monet’s Garden


For the last 25 years Fran has lived and painted in Spain, Italy, France and other European countries. She paints scenes from places she visited and wishes to commit to permanent memory, especially from California to the Mediterranean. Fran specializes in landscapes, seascapes and florals.


Her style exemplifies a changing perspective of colors and compositions over the years.


Although most of her work are oil paintings, she has recently added watercolor to her portfolio.


A Pen Woman in the Right Place

The National League of American Pen Women was the subject of an interview with President Virginia Franklin Campbell, featured in the latest issue of The Write Place at the Write Time, an online literary journal.

The spirit and legacy of the League came through Virginia’s answers to questions by Nicole M. Bouchard, Editor-in-Chief of the journal and NLAPW member-at-large. Nicole leads with praise for the NLAPW, based on her own vibrant experience as a Pen Woman.

See the whole feature: The Write Place at the Write Time, Q&A with Virginia Franklin Campbell.

“We experience the arts differently than a colleague who isn’t a Pen Woman,” Virginia adds. “Our triple identities in the arts – as artists, musicians and writers – makes the NLAPW unique. The artist comes to understand the writer at a different level, and the musician appreciates the artist. Because we are so intertwined in our disciplines, we have an increased enjoyment of the arts as a whole. Our experience and understanding of the arts is like no other, and we are able to enjoy each other’s art more profoundly.”

Verne and Virginia Campbell with the new member of the family, Dandi.


Poem of the Week: Rain Dance

Shelly Reed Thieman
Letters Member, Treasurer – Des Moines Branch


In mud nest threatened

by black conclave of clouds,

a tiny robin opens its throat

for the reception of earth

worm and Juneberry.


I rain dance in shallow pond

of lush reeds, massage earth

with bare feet. Sweet thunder

is a kettledrum setting

the cadence of evening.


Ponderosa pine prostrate.

A pair of barred owls startle

when their perch snaps

from its trunk like a phantom

femur from its pelvis.


Mottled with rust, ancient

wind chimes surrender

their clapper and three silver

rods to horizontal rain.

Lightning swings her sword.


Poem of the Week: Nourishing You

Patricia A. Oplinger
Member-at-Large from Cherokee Village, AR


I wish I could take language

and pour it into a bowl

of warm, encouraging thoughts


I would splash soothing sentences

around its edges

for you to set astir


I would adjust the fragrant spice

of self-esteem

for you to inhale


I would have you listen

to the plop of paragraphs

saying, “Hush, hush, it’s all right.


Then I would spoon you sweet phrases

to heal damages past words

may have caused


Poem of the Week: Give Them a Brake

Barb Whitmarsh
Bayou City II, TX Branch


It’s time again
For the Red Neck Sliders
Certainly not known
To be traffic law abiders
They’re on the roadways
Quiet as “mouses”
Always towing their RV houses
It’s hard to believe
If they don’t get struck
They’ll out live us all
With any luck
Please give these terrapins a brake
Not to do it’s a big mistake
They’re trying to survive
And never fought us
Yes, this is what
The turtles tortoise