Poem of the Week–Armistice


Armistice

I pass the long train
as it waits, unmoving,
each flat car carrying military vehicles —
armored tanks with caterpillar tracks,
long gun noses extend into air —
the kind of transport we only see on the news
rolling down the streets of Baghdad,
Helmand province,
Tiananmen Square,
right here in Ceres, California,
and for a minute it jolts me,
all the more ironic
since it is Memorial Day weekend
and this looks like an invasion,
tank after tank after tank,
gray green gigantic Tonka toys
that have played for real
in the game of war,
not raw recruits
but old war horses,
veterans,
hopefully on their way
to some kind of resting place
where they will be honored
for their service,
never used again

Nancy Haskett
Modesto Branch, CA

Art of the Week and New Member Profile

Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member

Continuing our series on getting to know NLAPW’s newest members, today’s Art of the Week features Bonnie Benschneider Olson of the Pikes Peak Branch, CO. Welcome, Bonnie, it’s an honor to have you as a member! Scroll down to see some of her art and read her art career.

Pastel by Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

Pastel by
Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member



Contemplation of Love (1 of 20) Pastel by Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

Contemplation of Love (1 of 20)
Pastel by
Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member

Pastel by Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

Pastel by
Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member

Pastel by Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

Pastel by
Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member

Pastel by Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

Pastel by
Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member


NLAPW Pikes Peak Branch logo by Bonnie Benschneider Olson Pikes Peak Branch, CO New Art Member

NLAPW Pikes Peak Branch logo by
Bonnie Benschneider Olson
Pikes Peak Branch, CO
New Art Member

Bonnie has also recently designed a new logo for the Pikes Peak Branch!

Bonnie Benschneider Olson had an early introduction to art and photography and was supported in her interests. Her father, L H Benschneider, was a commercial photographer and teacher, her mother a Pen Woman since 1960 was a prolific painter, writer and sculptor.
Bonnie grew up in Colorado in remarkable natural surrounds. Being immersed in art and the beauty of mountains and love of animals, led her to a genuine desire to express her love of beauty with her own art. She began teaching art in her early twenties and continues to share and teach and create a wide variety of art in pastel, water color, oil, acrylics. She shares her skills with her staff and volunteers at her “memory care” day care center for seniors with cognitive challenges.

Bonnie has a degree in Fine Art and Education from the University of Colorado. She continues to study and develop as an artist through continuing study with various artists through the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center. She uses her technical skills and artistic expression to create one of a kind commissioned portraits. She is also developing several books based on her mother’s vast inventory of litergical paintings and vintage Colorado watercolors as well as her mother’s collection of Broadmoor Art Academy lithographs and her father’s inventory of Time-Life photos and Alexander Film archive photos.

Poem of the Week–Between Times

Between Times

During hard, empty-hearted years
I fled to your place, wherever it was,
to get my breath, my footing,
to talk over cups of French-pressed coffee
about parents who drank too much
and men who loved too little.
After you went to work, I padded around your home,
savoring the cool tiles of your kitchen beneath my bare feet,
and the coarse thick yellow-green grass outdoors in your yard
before settling into a comfortable chair with my diary to consider
it all, mostly love and work.
When you came home, we talked and talked,
two friends weaving the fine silken threads
of their lives into handiworks
with which to wrap truth
and hold it
for a moment.

Christie Palmer Lowrance
Cape Cod Branch, MA

Poem of the Week–My Child Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to every woman, whether your child is grown, still with you minute-by-minute, or is your art!

My Child

My love for you, my child,
is warm and tender,
yet it is fierce and strong

My love for you, my child,
is full of wonder; delighted with your victories,
yet wants to shield you from the world beyond

My love for you, my child,
is knowing love,
it’s wary of the time to come,
when you will leave for distant shores

Now spread your wings, my child,
and fly away, though do remember:
my home and heart are always open

Come back and lick your wounds,
then fly away again
to new adventures

Ute Buehler
Minnesota Branch

Editor’s note on the apostrophe in Mother’s Day:

Oh, the details! To put an apostrophe in the word “Mother” and if so, before or after the “s”? Here’s why I chose to put make it Mother’s Day, singular possessive, from www.betterwritingskills.com. After all, we as Pen Women, honor the legacy of creators, so let’s honor the creator of Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, and each our own (individual) mother.

Art of the Week–Street Art Critic

HONORABLE MENTION Street Art Critic Soon Yi Warren Fort Worth Branch

HONORABLE MENTION
Street Art Critic
Soon Yi Warren
Fort Worth Branch

Visit our website for news. events and competitions! www.nlapw.org

Poem of the Week–April

April

April is a thieving bitch.
April is the cowbird who kicked
sparrow eggs to a snake below.
Laid her own, abandoned them.

April stole my father.
April is a greedy bitch,
hungers for more. You ‘d
think warmth, waxing day
light would lift her mood,

but no, even clumps of pewter-
bottomed clouds bounce their round,
white bellies north, toward the lake,
sky so blue it looks fake. Fear.

I face that direction. Song sparrow’s
liquid serenade pierces my heart. I know
what is happening on that shore, right now.
I stand vigil.
April is kidnapping my friend
another fight lost to death.

April should display only forsythia froth,
daffodils’ band as they trumpet,
crocuses’ creeping purple, orange,
heads to the ground filled with sleep-drunk
honeybees warmed enough
to gather saffron.

Don’t die in winter.
The cold, the snow, heartlessness.
Come home in spring, some April
afternoon by an ice melted lake.
Don’t leave me to receive
your suitcase, your glasses smudged
as if just shoved in breast pocket.

One eyelash on their frame shatters
left-over shards of my heart.
My knees root me to the earth. Face north,
scattered tatters, fingers sift
a life remembered spread
before me on the asphalt.
I smear my face with mud and I weep.

Rachael Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

Art of the Week–Pink Pearl

Happy spring, everyone!

3rd Place, Pink Pearl, Valerie Lecklikner, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

3rd Place, Pink Pearl, Valerie Lecklikner, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

News: Poems of the Super Moon copies are back from the printer! If you’ve pre-ordered, expect your copy to arrive as soon as we can get the mailings processed. If you haven’t pre-ordered, order now to reserve your copy! Click here to visit our bookstore.

Poem of the Week–Restorative & a call for bloggers

Restorative

For Lorraine

A hand of spring lies gentle
on this wounded land.
Golden fingers of sunlight stretch
across my bed while winter sinks into the Earth.

Or winter raises up from the Earth.
Stands on her hind legs to walk away.
Melted ice mounds crackle and mutter.

A betrayal to their cold minds. Winter stands
on her sculpted hind legs. Water rivulets
flow the length of her calves, dribble from her heels.

She trails pooling footprints’ necklace.
Divots, dead grass, mud, tangle with potential green.
Oh. We know she bowed our heads
those many months of darkness.

Water returns to ground, to river, to lake, to sea.
It flings fingerfuls upon the beaches, silver reaches,
Stretches to call her back to the depths. No.

Winter walks on. Wordless. Away.
Sinks into the brown. Flies into the blue,
shades of blue streaming, spring’s sunlit skies.
Scent of her breath.

Rachael Z. Ikins
Central New York Branch, NY

Interested in writing blog posts for the www.nlapw.org blog? Contact webeditor@nlapw.org for details. Writers Get Together is also seeking blog writers. Click here for more info or submit a blog post by email to writersgettogether@outlook.com in .doc or .rtf format.

Art of the Week–Magnolia

Bonnie Hundley-Shoger, Sarasota Branch, Oil, Third Place

Bonnie Hundley-Shoger, Sarasota Branch, Oil, Third Place

This artwork is featured on the cover of the Pen Woman Magazine, Spring 2015 issue. To purchase this issue with more art, poetry and features, click here.
PWFinalcover

Poem of the Week–The Gordian Knot

The Gordian Knot

Families
Who love each other
But blur the lines, blur the boundaries
Borrow money, borrow trust
From each other
Slip the ropes around the heart
And begin to pull
Until love dies slowly
No one knows why
And
No one knows
How to untangle the Gordian knot
Where does it begin?
Where does it end?
The puzzle remains unsolved
People remain tangled even as
Hope strains for a solution.

Susan Bassler Pickford
Member at large