Art News

From the editor:
In case you didn’t scroll down — it was a little long — on the last post, here is my note again, along with an additional link to an art show from the Australian Museum (Sydney’s natural history museum). The relevance? Besides being a beautiful exhibit of exquisite watercolors, the history of the artists is entirely relevant to the NLAPW mission and founding. The artists, the Scott sisters, as they are known, lived and worked at a time when being female was mutually exclusive with pursuing a creative career. Through necessity and perseverance, they created an incredible body of work.

Helen Scott, Catocala(menispermi)  Courtesy of the Australian Museum Website, ©Australian Museum Archives, all rights reserved.

Helen Scott,
Catocala(menispermi)
Courtesy of the Australian Museum Website, ©Australian Museum Archives, all rights reserved.

And you don’t have to be in Sydney to see it. Click here to visit the exhibit on line (free). There’s even a free app you can download. Wow. How many other talents were wasted during their times? Let’s be sure the equal talents of our day are being encouraged (the NLAPW mission!).

and to repeat:
You may have noticed that there was no poetry or art posted last week. Apologies–I was on a flight from Sydney to Dallas and then on the road home. One of the side effects of severe jet lag is that I get to listen to the radio at odd hours, and early Sunday morning (or late Saturday night, depending on time zone) I listened to an inteview with Texas artist, Dario Robleto (not an NLAPW member). To link to the program, On Being, click here. There is also an interview with Maya Angelou (an NLAPW member) on an earlier episode. As the On Being website puts it, Robleto’s work “joins words and objects in a way that distills meaning at once social, poetic, and scientific.” His sculpture includes everyday objects, poetry, and uses visual and verbal tools to convey meaning. I’m headed to the Menil Collection to see his latest exhibit, The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed, as soon as I can.

The program reminded me of how many of NLAPW’s members produce work that transcends genres. And how our unique communion with sister artists in all disciplines can inform our own work. Visual artists share in the joy of our poetry; writers are inspired by the Art of the Week; we listen to music and revel in our composers’ success. The more exposure we have to creativity, the more our own creativity is enhanced. It’s why branches flourish, and why I do this blog. So, thank you, NLAPW members, and the greater audience, for all the feedback, comments, and encouragement.

And please let me know what you think of posting visual art and poetry together. What are your thoughts?

–Treanor Baring
NLAPW website content editor
Delta Branch, MS

–Treanor Baring
NLAPW website content editor
Delta Branch, MS

A Poem for Jeanne and a note from the editor

Jeanne

El malei rachamim
O G-d, full of compassion.

Intolerable, impossible
Words gush, unstoppable
Assaulting my ears, heart and being
For now, brief sliver of time with you.

We sat like two rocks in the coffeehouse,
Your Jess, precious daughter and I
Hearing, not listening nor believing-
‘I have a little bleeding, and, a mass’,
(My younger cousin, the gynecologist)
The shoemaker and her child.
‘How much? How long?’ we intone-
Whispers, barely audible.

Shochayn ba-m’romim
Who dwells on high,

Our collective sigh
Ascending to the heavens.
‘For a while; the estrogen didn’t really help either!’
The writing was on the wall.

The Diagnosis-different, personal and threatening from this end-
Decades of empathic conversations mocked in moments.
‘I am afraid, angry-not fair!’ (got that right),
‘I will be with you’ (my first responder to her heart).
Our days are long, months short and years too few
Making memories, appointments and yes, lots of chemo.
Loving apologies, amends, fences to mend-
Savoring, tasting moments before the sand runs out.

V’yitz-ror, bitz-ror hachayim-
Bind her soul together with the living.
Sweet, soulful melodies in your ear, final precious hours,
Family, friends’ and patients’ prayers ascend with your light.
Loved in life, loved forever,
Shelter her under the cover of your wings.

by Jill Maura Rabin, M.D.
Long Island Branch, NY
Source: El Maleh Rachamim – Prayer for the Soul of the Departed – Death & Mourning

Jeanne Rabin Kanaan, M.D., of blessed memory, was a compassionate, kind, skilled and empathic physician and urogynecologist. She was also my younger cousin and best friend.
She was taken from us too soon and our grief is beyond measure or words. Our family, friends and her many patients continue to use her shining example and lessons of a life well-lived to improve the lives of others.
Jeanne loved medicine and treated her patients as precious beings who needed and benefitted from her unique brand of healing. She taught and gave me far more than I could ever repay.
It is my hope that this small poem will serve as a reminder of the bond I shared with her, professionally and personally. May her memory be for a blessing.

Jill Rabin M.D.

Click here to visit our Letters Gallery to see info on ordering Dr. Rabin’s book (scroll down) and other new books by members
.

Note from the editor:
You may have noticed that there was no poetry or art posted last week. Apologies–I was on a flight from Sydney to Dallas and then on the road home. One of the side effects of severe jet lag is that I get to listen to the radio at odd hours, and early Sunday morning (or late Saturday night, depending on time zone) I listened to an inteview Texas artist, Dario Robleto (not an NLAPW member). To link to the program, On Being, click here. There is also an interview with Maya Angelou (an NLAPW member) on an earlier episode. As the On Being website puts it, Robleto’s work “joins words and objects in a way that distills meaning at once social, poetic, and scientific.” His sculpture includes everyday objects, poetry, and uses visual and verbal tools to convey meaning. I’m headed to the Menil Collection to see his latest exhibit, The Boundary of Life is Quietly Crossed, as soon as I can.

The program reminded me of how many of NLAPW’s members produce work that transcends genres. And how our unique communion with sister artists in all disciplines can inform our own work. Visual artists share in the joy of our poetry; writers are inspired by the Art of the Week; we listen to music and revel in our composers’ success. The more exposure we have to creativity, the more our own creativity is enhanced. It’s why branches flourish, and why I do this blog. So, thank you, NLAPW members, and the greater audience, for all the feedback, comments, and encouragement.

And please let me know what you think of posting visual art and poetry together. What are your thoughts on it?

–Treanor Baring
NLAPW website content editor
Delta Branch, MS

Poem of the Week & Art of the Week

Click on the image to see it larger.

Grace at the Golden Hour Wendy Harris Central New York  Branch, NY Soft pastel

Grace at the Golden Hour
Wendy Harris
Central New York Branch, NY
Soft pastel

A Piece of Paradise – Tengo Suerte

Lakes shimmer in the sunlight
Palm trees wave in the tropical breeze
Driving in the gate fills me with peace
I’m home, Gratefully, I’m home
How lucky, tengo suerte
A far cry from an impoverished childhood
A northern city tenement called home
Innocence of the world served all well
Appreciation felt constantly for
A loving family
Food on the table
Clean living conditions
Caring friends
Adulthood and education
Changing everything
Opening doors and opportunities
Moves made to heavenly change
Greenery, trees, and flowers abound
A husband, a son, it can’t get better
A beautiful house, a perfect job
Friends, neighbors a good life
Then disaster, my beloved is deathly ill
He dies, leaving me partner less
My son and I are inconsolable
Slowly existence becomes a new life for each of us
House sold, career ended, move on
Son marries
I try life again
It works, we both smile often
Grandchildren born, smiles widen
My eyes open wide
I realize, this is it
Lakes shimmer in the sunlight
Palm trees wave in the tropical breeze
Driving in the gate fills me with peace
I’m home, gratefully, I’m home
How lucky, tengo suerte

Etta Schaeffer
Boca Raton Branch, FL

Editor’s note:

I usually do not pair the art and poems of the week, letting each stand on their own. These two works and their graceful beauty seem a natural fit. Neither illustrates or speaks the words of the other, and yet they both carry a message of peace and the joy of living. Such is the ability of art, visual and literary, to touch us, and such is the power of women’s voices which these two works reflect. –Treanor (still in Australia but making my way homeward).

Art of the Week–Effervescence

Click on the image to see it larger. Awards are for the 2014 Biennial Art Exhibit, Atlanta, GA.

Effervescence Jean Baber Memorial Award of Merit Nancy Nesvik, Pensacola Branch. FL Photography

Effervescence
Jean Baber Memorial Award of Merit
Nancy Nesvik, Pensacola Branch. FL
Photography

Visit our on line gallery to see more work by our members from the 2014 Biennial Art Exhibit.

Order your Pen Arts Notecards featuring a lovely drawing by Pen Woman Prue Carrico on line through our bookstore.

Poem of the Week–Deja Vu

Deja Vu All Over Again
For Mary & her mom

Half of the time, she no longer recognizes you.
She reaches out, blind reflex, rages when you
respond. You feel stabbed or scratched.
You bleed.

You telephone the residence several times
a day in the beginning just to make sure.
She is okay. The kind staff-member tells you she is
watching TV in the day-room or that she ate
all of her vegetables at lunch or that she did
not fight the aide who comes to help her dress.
She can’t always recall what a bra is for, or socks
or how to tie her sneakers. You feel like a voyeur,
a locked-outsider. How did this happen? you ask yourself
all the time, when you can’t sleep, can’t paint, can’t
write. You lie there, stare into depthless Dark,
clock numerals spin hours. She is almost

an infant, as alien as you must’ve been when she first
held you. She knew she was supposed to love you
because mothers love their babies. A chemical guarantee
or something. You know you are supposed to love her now.
Daughters never stop loving their mothers.

Oh, but it is hard sometimes. These days…you’re
never ready, when the phone rings. Fight or flight?
Sometimes, a girl just wants her mama,
It’s only a bad dream, honey, go back to sleep.

Rachael Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

(c) 2014

All rights retained by the author. Please reprint only with permission.

Please feel free to share a link to this poem through Twitter or Facebook.

Art of the Week–Summer Afternoon

Click on the image to see it larger.

Summer Afternoon  Donna Solin Golden Gate-Marin Branch, CA  Oil

Summer Afternoon
Donna Solin
Golden Gate-Marin Branch, CA
Oil

Poem of the Week–Mirror Mirror

Mirror Mirror

Old woman, old woman, what do you see?
I see my reflection staring back at me.
There are differences in me and she.
Funny how we disagree.

She is 16, naïve and sweet
Stepping over insults thrown at her feet.
She has no safe harbor in home church or school
Where equal opportunity bullies rule.

She’s not allowed boundaries.
To all she’s fair game.
Persona non Gratis
Not even a name.

I see the results of her former life.
Emotions that sit on the edge of a knife.
A hang dog expression, a permanent frown
An “I dare you” look that she can’t put down.

I see the regret, the rage and the fear
That she has been carrying all of these years.
An angry teenager, a grown up in pain
And now an old woman who carries the strain.

Old woman, old woman, what do you see?
A sad little girl with no place to be.
I see maiden, mother, matriarch, crone
Surrounded by people but always alone.

I also see hope, for my life is not done.
My next great adventure already begun.
I see a wise woman who’s come into view.
To remind me of things I long ago knew.

I see my future my present my past
All rolled into one. But the runes are not cast.
The future I make is up to me.
When I look in the mirror, that’s what I see.

Virginia Small
Denver Branch, CO

Art of the Week–East Meets West

Click on the image to see it larger.

East Meets West Honorable Mention Jeny Reynolds, Greater Columbus Branch, OH Mixed media

East Meets West
Honorable Mention
Jeny Reynolds, Greater Columbus Branch, OH
Mixed media

Visit our on line gallery to see the works from the 2014 Biennial Juried Art Show.

Visit our bookstore to order Pen Arts Note Cards and Spirit, Peace and Joy, an anthology of poetry by Pen Women.

Poem of the Week–Lightest Feather

The Lightest Feather

Like the lightest feather
from the smallest Tundra Swan,
I am wafted in slow motion
through eddies of wind
land upon whatever sort of binding
draws me near.

I lie upturned on a low leaf,
cousin to bubbles rising
in water where swans
paddle like automatons.

I ride on the turtle’s dark green shell,
to be picked up and hidden
as a prize by the magpie,
then toppled by the touch
of the squirrel’s whisker,
I land upon the hard-wrought
silken circle trap of the spider,
disappoint him, hungry as he is.

Loosened again,
I am enchanted, make dizzy loops
above poppies, lightly shadow their golden faces,
land upon ragged moss of an ancient log,
wait for the next inevitable
updraft.

by Cleo Griffith
Modesto Branch, CA

Available now: Pen Arts Notecards featuring the elegant drawing by Hazel Camp found on our website background. Visit our bookstore here.

From Down Under, a Sonnet by Jean Hull Hermann

Treanor Baring, web editor, at Black Cat Cafe

Treanor Baring, web editor, at Black Cat Cafe

Apologies for the radio silence from www.nlapw.org blog the last week. I have been on travel in Australia for business. If I could clone myself, I would have left the clone behind in North America. As it is, there is only me, winter and limited internet access. But Art must be served, so stay tuned for more poems and art as I get back on line. And be sure to visit our art gallery to see the 2014 National Biennial Art Exhibit.
–Treanor Baring
Web Editor
www.nlapw.org


WHY I WANT TO BE CLONED

I think I’ve found a reason why I’d want to be a clone,
Or cloned, to put it properly – besides not being “alone.”
If I were one of many, I’d wear new clothes day and night,
Have rings and watches, necklaces, bracelets, earrings bright.

One clone would wear my business suits, the discreet skirt and tie;
Another would look like Britney Spears’ clone –squeal! – they say: “She’s fly!”
The third would have all day to dress, perféct makeup and hair,
Choose curls, straight, Mohawk, limp, bouffant, wild colors, too – I’d swear

Each one was me, for so she’d be, and I’d be a fashionista.
I’ve got to say, this beats it all to hell with hats for Easter.

by Jean Hull Hermann
Diamond State Branch, DE