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A Gift of Time
The empty house leaves me alone—there’s me,
all there is listening, aware the passion
of rain beats down with the frenzied gnashing
of Beethoven’s teeth—some concerto in D.
In this shell surrounded with pines, I dream
of addictions brewing in tea and steam:
the arrival of a freed genie looms
to stir up memories from remote rooms,
to unlock a new world from an aroused mind.
For hours I prowl and a griffin I find:
Eagle’s beak, body of lion, defiant,
A creature unified, grown compliant—
my several selves solidified in rhyme.
You have given me solitude and time.
Rosalind Lacy MacLennan
District of Columbia Branch
There’s a good article on the National Endowment for the Arts resource page about what separates creative leaders from others, by John M. McCann. Click here to read the full article.
In a nutshell, here’s some of the article’s points:
Creative leaders empower those they work with. They have faith in people and delegate responsibility.
Creative leaders involve audiences, artists and communities in decision making.
Creative leaders believe in self-fulfilling prophecies.
Creative leaders value individuality and each person’s special gifts.
Creative leaders encourage and reward creative thinking.
Creative leaders believe in change and moving their organization to innovation.
Creative leaders focus on internal, rather than external, motivators.
Creative leaders allow room for self-directedness.
The NLAPW Nominations Committee has put out a call for nominees for our Board of Directors. Click here to see the news item.
Like any non-profit, we are dependent on volunteers. Thank you to our Presidents for their time and dedication.
In today’s economy, replete with financial stress, overwhelming demands, and an abundance of choice, why would anybody devote time and energy to being on our National Board? I’m sure each of our directors and committee chairs has a different answer for how and why they got involved at a National level. One thing we share: we believe in the mission of the NLAPW to promote creativity. It’s a cruel world, and it’s also a beautiful one. Bringing art, in many forms, spoken, written, painted, sculpted, composed, choreographed, to as many people as possible, and honoring the gifts that creative women have within themselves, is a cause. A cause NLAPW was founded to promote. A cause we continue to believe in. A worthy cause.
Only you will know where and how you are called to serve. If it’s for our cause, you can play a tiny role or a big one, and you’ll play it with your heart and your hands. Don’t hesitate.
And for those of us who are already serving, we know we’ll have to think out of the box and hone our leadership skills for the challenges that lie ahead. As Virginia Woolf is oft quoted as saying, on the path of creativity, “Nothing follows a regular course.” So to promote creativity, we’ll have to think creatively.
Times have changed since NLAPW’s founders were outliers simply by entering creative professions. Our mission continues.
To learn more about NLAPW, visit www.nlapw.org and call 202-785-1997 to be sent our brochure.
–Treanor Wooten Baring,
1st Vice President, Web Editor, NLAPW, Inc.
Happy Mother’s Day to all women.
Seeing mother lying still, her breath barely lifting
the thin white gown, silver hair haloing a calm
innocence; her soft blue eyes meeting mine
with Christ like love.
I didn’t want to let go
her fragile hand holding mine
with fading strength
Praying the prayer I prayed as a child when
I was afraid of the dark, I received a message
of love even more brilliant than the sun–
and I knew
someone was listening.
One of my great joys is that mother, Josephine Hanrahan Standley-Switlik, and I shared a love of words. Mother graduated from Texas State College for Women (now TCU) in 1935 with a Bachelor of Science Degree.
A few years after my beloved father died in 1975, mother married Stanley Switlik, a widower. Stanley, an immigrant, came to America in 1907 with five copper pennies in his purse. A pioneer in aviation he developed and manufactured the parachute. On September 2, 1944, George Herbert Walker Bush’s life was saved by a Switlik parachute when his plane was shot down over the Pacific.
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Click here to see our on line art gallery.
Editor’s note: These two poems came across my desk recently. I was struck by their beauty and the power of dance, both as imagery and inspiration.
The first, by Janet Fagal, is in honor of NLAPW Central New York Branch sister member, Yolanda Tooley. Ms. Tooley is a self-taught master photographer. Ms. Fagal writes: “Her love of the arts and the endeavors of talented artists and writers in the Central New York area knew no bounds. She is the most gracious, warm, incredible person.” She is now in hospice care, and Ms. Fagal dedicates this poem to her.
May 11 is also the birthdate of celebrated choreographer Martha Graham. To all who dance, whether it’s only in your hearts, thank you. We’d like to hear what dancing has meant to you. And thank you also to our choreographer members in the Music classification.–Treanor Baring
The Long and Short of It
She slept, entwined in tubes,
frayed ribbon snaking through each braid,
Time slipped, dreams preferred,
new blood snaking through each vein,
Hope spread, life reframed,
wishes snaking through each breath,
by Janet Fagal
Central New York Branch
Song of the Dancer
(with apologies to Staley Kunitz’s “King of the River”)
If the dream were real
if the dream were a ballerina,
but the dream is not real
the dream is not a ballerina,
you would see yourself
slipped into an eternal prayer
dancing out of your skin
prancing over daisies naked
Pirouetting over wooden floors
till your feet bleed
with your belly’s ego
over fields of gold
till you paste them with your essence
If the talent were given you
but it is not given,
for the toes are covered
in satin deceptions
and the iridescent image capers
You would surprise yourself
in that other ballet
battering toward the dark
that heels the coutour of the foot.
The cheeks of your face redden.
You have become doll of the stage
The great dance of your life
and the small instruments run wild
the impresario ignored
as you dance
For this you were born.
the show, the lights, the tut
the ever-bearing rhythm
you dance and never lose the beat,
the adagio playing in your head
in your gut
in you feet
in your dreams.
by Christina Laurie
Cape Cod Branch, MA
A day like today deserves a haiku–come to think of it, every day does!
And read below for our call for presenters for our 2014 Art, Letters and Music Convention.
Cat pawing sunlit window
Boca Raton Branch, FL
Call for Proposals
Invitation to Participate in
National League of American Pen Women’s 2014 Biennial
Held in Atlanta, Georgia
Soar Higher . . . Make Your Mark
April 24-26, 2014
Deadline: August 1, 2013
The NLAPW is now accepting presenter proposals for our 2014 National Biennial Convention in Atlanta, GA, April 2014.
Step back in time in Historic Atlanta as we explore how the various artists, authors, and composers can inspire each other as they soar higher to make their mark. Come share your interests, talents, perspectives, and network with other creative individuals.
This unique convention brings together Art professionals in Music, Visual Arts and Writing from all over the United States for three days of intense learning, sharing and professional enrichment. We have some remarkable talents lined up as our main speakers.
Past workshops have included hands-on art projects, perspectives on inclusiveness in the Arts, music performances of original works, and panels on self-publishing.
We are seeking presenters for workshops and panel discussions on topics and subjects in a diversity of creative fields.
Click here for a sample Cover Sheet and Proposal. All proposals should be in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf) and are due by midnight on August 1, 2013.
Please send your Cover Letter and Proposal to Deborah Roebuck, 2014 Biennial Committee Chair, either by email or regular postal mail.
Email Biennial Committee Chair
Please include “NLAPW Biennial Proposal “as your e-mail subject line.
2230 Henry Scott Road
Ball Ground, GA 30107
ATTN: Biennial Proposal
For more information and guidance, see our Biennial page on www.nlapw.org.
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FROM A HEIGHT LIES A PERENNIALLY SUNNY GARDEN
She’s taller than the others,
this yellow Hollyhock,
with hazel sunshine
a green morning makes,
as soft as
in this perfumed garden,
with high mirth,
the brown-vested bees
light above her.
by Ariel Smart
Santa Clara Branch, CA
On May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in by U.S. Special Forces in Pakistan.
There is no escarole in Afghanistan
I’m so sorry
Every morning when I get the newspaper
I pass the fruit and vegetable aisle
And I watch for a good head
Of your favorite dish
And dream -
Escarole sautéed in olive oil with garlic cloves
And oh the joy in your eyes as you’d sit
To engage in some serious eating
I’m just your old Ma from Brooklyn
What do I know about fancy fare
What do I know about bombs and IEDs
Except that so many have died as a result
In the war of my era and yours
In every war – Papa’s too
Son, please come home
My heart and skillet will be waiting and the
Open arms and hugs from Dad and brother
And for all who struggle to survive
Endure loss, sacrifice life and limb
And may lose all
This old lady from Bushwick Ave.
Salutes you with her old gnarled hand
And a heartfelt prayer
And son while you do not have to “Remember the Alamo”
Hopefully you will never forget my escarole
St. Louis Branch, MO