Monday, August 19, 2019

Doug McHargue's "Blackberry Nation" after Laura Crooks

Doug McHargue photographed at the July 13, 2019 tour of Alexander County Library and FOUND: The Art of Community exhibit curated by Miranda Burgin. The photograph that inspired her work was taken by library director, Laura Crooks.

by Doug McHargue
after One for Solitude by Laura Crooks

Blackberries in the foreground, they are wild,
ready to swallow the chair.
In the grocery, they lie fat and indolent,
anemic hothouse plastic.

At the river they grew all over
and I picked two gallons
in a morning, smaller but real
and wicked little tarts, lost.

Now my fog eyes think vines
are city skylines, blackberries
inching their way up concrete, steel,
crawling up from the river
where they were stepped on,
chainsawed, bulldozed,
a blackberry nation rising,
then fruit raining
into the river, Catawba running
with its secret pouring
into a front yard near you.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ann Chandonnet's "Wet Clover" after Eric Schumacher

Artist Eric Schumacher joined the tour of FOUND - Art of Community at Alexander County Library on Saturday, July 13, 2019. Eric's photograph inspired one of Art of Poetry's first contributing poets, Ann Chandonnet who now lives in Missouri, to share this poem from afar.

by Ann Chandonnet
after Water Bubbles by Eric Schumacher

My Mom was born on a 13th in August.
She always considered it her lucky day,
no matter the month.
She enjoyed sitting under the maples 
shading the front lawn
looking for four-leaf clovers.
She had little patience with her five kids
but lots for clovers.

Farming is a hard life,
which did not agree with Mom
who preferred sun bathing
in skimpy halters
to weeding corn,
canning jars of staples
or slinging bales of hay.
So although she had bid
for this farm life,
she left, hovered
looked for four-leafed clovers elsewhere.
None of us accompanied her.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Beverly Finney's "Found" after Vickie Jo Franks

Beverly Finney photographed on tour at Alexander County Library, July 13, 2019. Her poem was inspired by a Vickie Jo Frank's collage. The exhibit FOUND - Art of Community, curated by Miranda Burgin, will be on display until August 2.   

by Beverly Finney
after A Pilgrim’s Song by Vickie Jo Franks

What of those who live found lives,
cobbled together from the scraps and refuse
discarded by those who have too much,
piecing a bare-knuckles tapestry of survival?
Intrepid scavengers with eyes that see
in a different light, creative imaginations
full of new visions for what’s tossed aside,
clever hands, forging hearts fashioning anew.
How rich are they in fierce attention
to the overlooked, in the satisfaction
of self-sufficiency, the prayer of gratitude,
the tiny fragments of beauty, hope and joy?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Patricia Deaton's "First Things, First" after hannah grace

Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's Patricia Deaton emulates the painting by hannah grace that inspired her poem. Poets toured Alexander County Library's FOUND - Art of Community exhibit on Saturday, July 13, 2019. Curated by library board trustee chair, Miranda Burgin, the collection was procured from local and regional artists, photographers. The artworks and poetry will be on display until August 2.

by Patricia Deaton
after Not Your Babe by hannah grace

With a flash, that day comes back.

Eyelids lifted gently, one at a time 
by one small finger; a small face, close. 

Light seeps in-through a window 
full of sky so blue, you worry;
not about things that might happen, 
but things that might not.

Her first April Fools, brown eyes wide,
there is salt in the sugar bowl.
Spit-cereal with the first spoonful

then laughter fits; wonder at the kind of mind
that even came up with this. 

We ate sliced-off ends of the pan blanco,
bread carefully-made, though overworked 
the night before; her abuela’s recipe 
from a country where a little means a lot.

At the top of the school steps
butchered bread held upright, resolve slipping,
plastic wrap unfurls itself from the loaf
and flutters like the flag of a fallen land.

What valor to stand that first day
and wave the loaf, then hand it
to someone who swings open a door.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Join Art of Poetry Catawba Valley at Alexander County Library, Saturday, July 13, 2019, 2 pm

Join us on our next tour of art through ekphrastic poetry beginning at 2 pm at Alexander County Library. The address is 77 1st Avenue SW in Taylorsville. It is free and open to the public to attend the readings. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Next Tour: FOUND at Alexander County Library

Art of Poetry Catawba Valley melds art and writing in the form of ekphrastic poetry throughout the Unifour. Our next tour will be at Alexander County Library in Taylorsville, NC exploring collective artworks and photography for FOUND – Art of Community. The exhibit will display through the months of June and July 2019.
Works will be available to peruse Friday, June 7 after 5 pm. The public is invited for an Art After Hours reception for the exhibit on Friday, June 21 from 6-7:30 pm. For other hours at the library, visit
To submit, simply go to Alexander County Library and write poems about the works on exhibit. The submission deadline is midnight, July 7, 2019.  Readings will be July 13, 2019 beginning at 2 pm in the library.
Selected poetry will be posted beside the artworks for this tour at Alexander County Library.
Submissions should:
-include name of the artist and the title of the inspiring work
-be typed in the body of an email (please send attachments if line breaks do not translate)
-be sent to Melissa Hager at
-Art of Poetry CV will use no more than 3 poems per individual poet
-Art of Poetry CV reserves the right to decline work that may not be appropriate in content. Poems that are overtly political or religious in nature, or poems that are not appropriate for all ages, will not be considered for this program.
Approximately 20 poems will be selected to be read by the author (or substitute reader) at the reading. After the reading, with permission of the poet and artist, poems will be posted on the Art of Poetry Catawba Valley website at
The reading is free and open to the public.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Brenda Smith's "Dear Carl" after Roger Lee Ivens

Brenda Smith photographed in Hickory Museum of Art on October 13, 2018.

DEAR CARL—When I can’t get my head above the earth 
By Brenda Smith
after Sun and Hands by Roger Lee Ivens

At least I can raise my arms.
My hands with the all-seeing eyes
yearn to look at the too-brilliant sun
grasp for the laden sky
full of simultaneous sun and stars.

Is this what happens when you use your hands to see?
A fresh scope and slant on the universe
heavens green, then briefly blue
fading into shades of autumn
as the light penetrates the earth.
Is this the origin of the seasons then,
the angle of the eyes of our hands
as we stretch toward the light?
We look backwards to look forward
and we truly see.
I reach North, eyes averted
and for the first time
see the sun’s third eye.
A thousand times past
squinting at her face
yet only when I shift and choose another angle
do I notice that all-seeing eye.
Sun, you cosmic know-it-all.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ethan Hoge's "Evil Bunnies" after Momoyo Torimitsu

Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's Patricia Deaton shares the sinister poem of Ethan Hoge at the October 13, 2018 tour of Hickory Museum of Art. 

by Ethan Hoge
After Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable by Momoyo Torimitsu

The rabbits are big
I am extremely disturbed
First cute, then evil

Their pink cuteness hides
Evil they have inside
Their impact just grows

They are changing lives -
Is being slaughtered

Disturbingly cute
They try to decide the things
You should decide

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Samantha Stephens's "Now You See Me" after Billie Grace Lynn

Alexander Early College instructor, Jane Lucas, shares her student's poem inspired by the BLOW UP artist, Billie Grace Lynn. Samantha Stephens was unable to attend the tour on October 13, 2019.

by Samantha Stephens
after White Elephant by Billie Grace Lynn

Now you see me,
My posture high, robust,
As I reach out with my burly trunk
Emitting such fictitious evocation.
Now you see me
Filled with empowerment,
Audacious and monumental.
Reach out, if you dare.
Feel my solace and shield.
Now you see me
Encompassing more than intuition,
Reaching deep for vitality.
Deliver me from departure.
I am very much treasured
To the point of termination.
For now, you see me.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Patricia Deaton's "Old House" after Douglas Grant

Art of Poetry's Patricia Deaton shares her poem inspired by the Douglas Grant watercolor at Art of Poetry Catawba Valley's tour of Hickory Museum of Art - October 13, 2018.

by Patricia Deaton
after Over Yander by Douglas Grant

Old House, call the young girl home
who cooked for those who raised your roof that day.

They lingered underneath this oak, among them
young men, bound to go to war.

Call to that whole family, sick inside your cozy walls
order nailed upon the door to keep disease and death in.

They rest now upon the rise, stones as white as bones
that mark their graves.

Call to the man who wanders in across the yard
from bottom land, and wonders if he’s seen this place before

Upstairs in dreams, he cries for things he never will forget
and hopes, to God, he never sees again.

Old house, call all the people home who filled
your days with hard and less-hard ways of life
back thenwhen innocence could not last for long.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Melissa Hager's "Revelation 2" after Robert Eades

Robert Eades's provocative elevator room installation is the subject of "Revelation 2" by Melissa Hager. She shared the poem at the Hickory Museum of Art tour on October 13, 2018.  The next Art of Poetry Catawba Valley tour of an art institution will be announced in the coming weeks. Photo courtesy of Hickory Museum of Art.

By Melissa Hager
after elevator room installation by Robert Eades

Focus on God’s beauty 
even descending into the abyss. 
Every roll, dip and sway experienced 
is within Alpha and Omega’s mighty hand.

He didn’t create the metal tube, engines, 
within which to plunge 
into the storm. He didn’t compel 
you buy the ticket to ride. 

Yahweh gives a world with water, 
food, air, resources for shelter. 
As His gifts are depleted, 
to grant the greed of Adam 

and Eve’s offspring, the snake 
gets the last bite. 
But the devil too will perish
in an unsustainable world. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Kourtney Rabinowitz's "Momentary Peace" after Lewis deSoto

The Lewis deSoto sculpture, Paranirvana, photographed along with other pieces in the BLOW UP exhibit at Hickory Museum of Art. 

by Kourtney Rabinowitz
after Paranirvana by Lewis deSoto

I lie in repose
As the arms and legs
Of our modern world’s soldiers
March by, convinced if they don't,
The cogs of progress will freeze in place

I live in repose
As greed’s roots
Take hold in the corners of the sphere
And the curves of our hearts
Spiraling into the composted remains
Of its ultimate reward

I lie in repose as
The moving pictures of my mind
Rubble where walls once stood
Flowers where the discards of existence abided
Outstretched hands where fists once thrusted

I awake
And hope it was not just a dream

Doug McHargue's "Blackberry Nation" after Laura Crooks

Doug McHargue photographed at the July 13, 2019 tour of Alexander County Library and FOUND: The Art of Community exhibit curated by Mira...