Monday, October 15, 2018

Brenda Smith's "Four Extra For Survival" after Lewis deSoto

Brenda Smith photographed at Hickory Museum of Art on October 13 for Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's second tour of a Unifour art institution in 2018. 

by Brenda Smith
after Paranirvana by Lewis deSoto

I cannot say you blocked my path
massive though you are.
I can pass around you, beyond you
but I cannot ignore you
reclining on the hard wooden floor
soles of your feet staring us in the face
your eightfold path turned twelvefold.
You have too many paths, large Buddha,
too many spokes in your wheel.
You, the incarnation of the
twenty-first century journey
with its too many paths
diverging in a vacant lot.
This is what happens
to the trailblazer sometimes.
You launch out with a new wisdom
and lose your way in concrete
the city swallowing your meditation
the way it swallows nature.
No green to be found.
No soft path to tread.
You need those four extra spokes
to keep the sidewalk from bruising your feet
as you walk the cities of the world
heart wounded by what you see.

So here, exhausted, you lie.
The best place you could find.
Art, a sanctuary in the modern world
a bit of peace in the cacophony
of millennial life.
Sleep well, brother Buddha, 
for now.

15 poets contributed to the event's 20 ekphrastic works which are on display with the art works that inspired them. Many thanks to Hickory Museum of Art for hosting us! Subscribe and stay posted for future events.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Join Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's Tour of Hickory Museum of Art, Saturday, Oct. 13

Join Art of Poetry Catawba Valley as we tour Hickory Museum of Art on Saturday, October 13, 2018.  15 poets have contributed to the 20 ekphrastic poems selected. The works will be shared in front of the art that inspired them.

The tour begins at 2 pm in the front lobby of the museum. Admission is free and open to the public.  Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Jane Shlensky's "Fly Me" after Owen-Murakami and Van Ameyden

by Jane Shlensky
after Kites by Ginger Owen-Murakami 
and Vicki Van Ameyden

No one—not even she—remembered
her in that dress, too white and delicate
for people who work in soil, too prissy
for a boyish girl who liked rough games
and climbing to sky branches of Old Oak.
But here she is, the one picture of her 
in white lace and patent leather pumps,
stored away in a trunk, the yellowing dress
wrapped in tissue paper below it.

“Do we really remember such early events
or do we only think so because of pictures of them?”
she asks, looking into each of our faces. 
That spurs us to reminisce of Old Mack, 
the horse pictured with us astride him bareback, 
of Dan and Jeanie, the collies who half-raised us, 
of stern-faced aunts and red-faced tippling uncles, 
of a family band playing after cookouts,
those same brothers singing harmony, 
of catching fireflies and tadpoles 
with running hordes of cousins, 
each memory raising up others like smoke,
faces long harbored, experiences long edited,
floating images that exist nowhere 
but in the albums in our heads.

All that laughter at recovering
what can never really be gone, 
part and parcel of us, finding 
and embracing our Selves of long ago, 
fills us with longing and joy,
for here we are, growing old far apart,
but still tethered by some ghostly cord
that holds us fast as family, 
each fluttering on whatever wind that shaped us,
each flying in this willing quadrant of sky.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Submission Deadline Approaches for HMA Tour, Melissa Hager's "Mmmm Hmmmm" after Susan Greene

Saturday, September 29 is the final day submissions will be accepted for Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's tour of Hickory Museum of Art. The tour on October 13 begins at 2 pm and will explore Blow Up, Dear Paul Letters, Sugar & Spice, POP: Everyday Imagery As Art, and ongoing glass and folk art exhibits. 

For submission guidelines, visit the link at

Last week's featured poem was about Susan Greene's photographic collage Mourning Wrap - and so too is this week's piece by Melissa Hager. 

by Melissa Hager
after Susan Greene’s Mourning Wrap

Frogs - symbol of our home,
potteried amphibians, leapers
with tinkly bells to welcome
the visitor. Harlequin ribbiter
sits atop chimes to warn of high
winds, soothe with calm breezes
as a tadpole plant holder
now smokes butt ends
of son’s Marlboro Reds.
Olive frogs, red frogs, crystal
frogs a courtin’ upon broken
Christmas tree bough.
Frog with feathers, a fishing pole,
and failure - as one lay in pieces
upon ceramic tile floor.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Patricia Deaton's "A Day in the Land of Lethargia" after Susan Greene

Patricia Deaton photographed at Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's tour of Caldwell Arts Council - June 9, 2018. 

by Patricia Deaton
after Mourning Wrap by Susan Greene

Every hour finds you unaccounted for, alone
Light outside is freshly-made, but you don't look.
Problems brim like dew drops on bottom lids
Limbs feel wooden and put together with pins.

You are sleepy or hungry, or both.
The bed is your conjoined twin who
can't live without its crumb-covered friend.
Undone things of yesterday, nothing done today.

Resolve as flat as matted hair and tangled sheets
dusk offers some relief from daylight's needs.
Night comes with its permission, once again
to lie in darkness, unwashed and guilt-free.

As one of  AOPCV's coordinators, Patricia invites poets to participate in the next event on October 13 at Hickory Museum of Art. Details can be found at:

Monday, September 10, 2018

Jane Shlensky's "Courtship" after Alix Hitchcock

Caldwell Arts Council executive director, Lindsay Barrick, shares the poem by Jane Shlensky at Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's first tour on June 9, 2018 in Lenoir, NC. 

by Jane Shlensky
after Alix Hitchcock’s Two Cranes

He stands gawking among marsh plants in shade.
She wades along the shore in streaks of light,
golden beams gilding cat tails and marsh grass,
giving him the illusion of a towering headdress
and her the fancy feathers of autumn sumac.
They cannot avert their eyes from one another,
so splendid are they at this angle of vision.

So mates of every species meet in gradations
of day and night, sun and shade,
each in a different world, dazzled
by kindred otherness as organic as a tree limb
downed and shimmering beneath the water, each
seeing precisely what light and imagination allows.


Submissions are currently being accepted for our tour of Hickory Museum of Art on October 13, 2018. Details can be found at this link: 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Betty O'Hearn's "Quick Walk" after Susan Greene

Poet Beverly Finney photographed as she reads Betty O'Hearn's poem in front of the inspiring Susan Greene collage. Art of Poetry Catawba Valley toured the exhibit at Caldwell Arts Council on June 9, 2018.

by Betty O’Hearn
After Edge by Susan Greene

The sun was shining dusting the top of the
water with light and shadows.
I had to go up to take a walk on the terra cotta stone.

My walks are quick.  It is dangerous to go up but
I live on the edge. 
It is courting season and I am exhausted.

Holding yourself vertical all day makes you wish
you could be like other sea creatures and
swim horizontal. 

I should be grateful.  People like us, as we are
an oddity.  I know horses above don’t have as
much fun as we do.

Oops. Someone is walking down.  I better jump
back to where it is safe.  And…  off I go, back
to the sea. 

That was fun!

Thanks, Betty, for your contribution! She, along with Kelly DeMaegd and Mel Hager, coordinated Art of Poetry through Hickory Museum of Art.  Please consider contributing to AOPCV when we return to Hickory Museum of Art for a tour October 13, 2018. Full details can be found at this link: -

We hope to see you and/or your poetry October 13!

Art of Poetry Catawba Valley
Melissa Hager and Patricia Deaton

Brenda Smith's "Four Extra For Survival" after Lewis deSoto

Brenda Smith photographed at Hickory Museum of Art on October 13 for Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's second tour of a Unifour art inst...