"Religion and art spring from the same root and are close kin." Willa Cather
“The object which is at the back of every work of art, is the attainment of a state of being, a state of functioning, a more than ordinary moment of existence.” Robert Henri, American painter, from The Art Spirit
Poetry is a raid on the inarticulate. – T.S. Elliot
Below are selections of my poetry, which I have not sought to publish, so I freely share them here. Two poems have been set to music, I am happy to report: Night Crossing, Sea Of Cortez; and To My Son, Age Six, Storm Rider. Composers found them on my blog and asked permission to use them in their work.
Home at Sea on La Gitana
The sea appears so simple
With a dark, indulgent face,
The stars there twice reflected
Like a world spun out of space.
Our sloop shoots through the cosmos,
Through a mute and moonless night,
Our wake a fiery comet
Streaming effervescent light.
With all the universe inert
We slip from star to star,
Then reach across the Milky Way
Toward galaxies afar.
Eons swirl, light-years unfurl
And none can still our flight,
Leaping toward the infinite to
Apprehend the light.
This poem was set to music by composer Troy Armstrong. The choral arrangement is hauntingly beautiful. He calls it "Swimming Among the Stars". You can listen HERE
Read the blog post where Troy found the poem:
Wind through the window
Streaming through my hair
I in my stillness
Hurtling through the air
Trees and grasses and roads bending
Faces with flowers and houses blending
Objects like petals on a dark stream, streaming
through me, leave me, clean
and empty as a hollow reed, still
faintly ringing with the rhapsody of being
Read about what inspired this poem:
Walking among flowers,
drowning in scent,
petals assault me,
cool and bent.
Pistils are pounding,
stun and grab.
Walking among flowers,
I die a sweet death.
Bloodied and trampled,
borne by my last breath,
I lay like a light
on the garden wall,
then swooping, swallow
flowers and all.
Read more about this poem, what inspired me here:
Home on the Central Coast of California
I watch them every summer, the hot hills
Crouched like a lion beside the road.
I see the strength—tawny skin pulled taut
Across long, lean ribs.
I would take my hand and trace
Round ripples of male muscle, feel
The hot rise and cool dip of his body.
I see the arrogance—rocky head held
High against infinity, the patient power
Unmindful of the heat that holds me.
Someday he will rise, stretch his sensuous
Body against the sky with one, low moan.
On silent paws he will pursue me . . .
And I will wait.
Read more about this poem on my blog:
The Accident of Touching
Once, in some wild gesture,
Some random fancy
I found my hand stretched out,
Open and unprotected.
There, your hand paused,
Palm moist and heavy
Yet warm and lively.
Before I thought to clasp it
The moment passed and
You were gone.
Now, I watch hands
As they quickly dart and
Never cease to move.
The accident of touching
Is so rare! Sometimes
I pause my hand on purpose
And hope to find yours there.
Read more about this poem here:
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