Featured Poem: Canvas of Life

Barbara Clarke
Atlanta Chapter

 

Life’s journey is played out beginning on the upper part of the canvas

bright colors are intermingled at the entrance of a new soul.

Love between us is heighten with hues of a symphony of emotions

when we welcome a new being into our fold.

 

In times of despair and downtrodden state of affairs

dark cacophony of colors swirl around us and

we strive to live above ordinary circumstances that

drag us down to the bottom of the canvas.

 

It is the Creator that lives within us that provides

the White Spirit to push on through the grey abyss

of troubles and tribulations that plague us in this canvas life.

 

When your soul is bleak and the canvas has you stifled

where your creativity seems to have subsided,

you stumble around not being able to bring forth. . . 

 

a friend calls with yellow enlightenment and words of promise

encouraging you to pick up your brush and paint pushing through,

you then see the rainbow that shines through friendship

propelling you to move higher up the canvas

breathing life into the continuation of your masterpiece.

 

The ups and downs of canvas life are captured in your journal,

it holds your most heartfelt sentiments and feelings

about this journey you’re treading on. You paint in your journal

expressions and impressions, memoirs as you move on down

the canvas of life. You speak in your journal about the

emotional highs and lows that ebb and flow from living.

 

When one looks into your journal after you have moved on

into the other realm; gaining insight and a glimpse of the

picture you painted expressing your innermost secrets

and emotions about the canvas of life. They take your memoirs

and hold them in their hearts and keep you alive forevermore

from the picture you created on your journey collage.

 

It is a way of safekeeping you high up on the canvas

for the picture you painted is held within their view

never forgetting the journey you made

and the love they held for you

 

Featured Poem: Genetically Modified

Cornelia DeDona
Member at Large, New York

 
It was December of 2012. Dad was almost eighty.
Dementia had erased his hunger.
He’d subsisted the last few years on cheap cereal 
made from BT corn and ice cream.
He loved ice cream.
 
I moved back home after Dad died. After my divorce.
Leaving Hawaii felt like I had base jumped from Everest.
Forced to endure the gravity of free-fall.    
I boldly believed my DNA would protect me.
 
But, unwittingly, in the ‘90s, 
I  too had become a guinea pig in an experiment. 
I developed an autoimmune disease by age 35, something new to my family.
 
Brain disease and hypothyroidism,
an autoimmune disease, 
linked to GMOs and excess sugar
were still largely ignored by the family doctor.
 
Like everyone else,
I had rationalized the altered food as safe.
 
My stomach wouldn’t dare explode
like the bugs’ who ate the toxic corn.
 
After all, 
I was genetically strong
like Dad.
 
 
BT corn is a genetically modified food, or GMO. A GMO is an organism whose genome has been altered by the techniques of genetic engineering so that its DNA contains one or more genes not commonly found there. Genetically modified “Bt corn” has been equipped with a gene from soil bacteria called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), which produces the Bt toxin. It’s a pesticide that breaks open the stomach of certain insects and kills them. This pesticide-producing corn entered the food supply in the late 1990s, and over the past decade, the horror stories have started piling up. And the problem with Bt crops goes far beyond the creation of Bt-resistant insects. Native to Central America, papaya was the first genetically modified fruit to be grown in commercial production. The genetically modified varieties, known as Rainbow and SunUp or Sunrise, were developed in Hawaii to resist the papaya ringspot virus.
 

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!

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