(Keeping On) Six – the Sum is Six

SIX – THE SUM IS SIX

There are six
some of cedar or
perhaps of spruce

Six stand upon a hill
along a border
or in a valley

…..Or perhaps they take a walk

Six for shelter
Six for shade
Six for safety

And six for social
…..for camaraderie

Six in a family
Six in three couples
Six in a story

…..How mysterious is theirs?

These six are salient
serene and steady
perhaps in prayer

Perhaps in song
…..or in a dance

Six souls meeting
in 2020. masked
safe distanced

Six selves strong
strolling yet
frozen in time


Poem by Elizabeth Possidente
Artwork: Group Gathering by Linda Edwards

(Keeping On) Blues

BLUES

The eyes are blue.
Wonderfully blue,
At first glance, blue.
Then blue.

Gaze deep into the blue,
The blue and more blue,
The beautifully blue eyes.
They should suffice, should win.

Tousled hair atop the head.
And, yes, the eyes are blue.
As blue as anything.
As blue as everything.

Above the blue
A furrowed brow.
My God, the life of the mind!
And, yet the eyes are blue.

As blue as…mmmm.
As blue as…aaaahh.
As blue as…yeah.


Poem by Norman Thomas Marshall
Artwork: A Portrait by Scott Paterson

(Keeping On) Lady of Spain

LADY OF SPAIN

she seems about to whirl into a dance
this Spanish lady so precisely arrayed

in a pattern of black and white
with a perky red feather in her hat

curved arm and fist resting on a hip
heart-shaped lips in a pursing pout

eyes slightly slanted mysterious
staring back at those studying her

remaining opaque so that no one can tell
if she’s full of tabasco or sweet cream


Poem by Gwen Gunn. Artwork: Flamenco, a pottery pitcher by Anita Griffith

(Keeping On) I’ll Try To Remember

I’LL TRY TO REMEMBER

When I look at your face there’s something familiar,
I’ve seen you before, I’ll try to remember,
Perhaps it’s your eyes, those long lovely lashes,
Or maybe your lips, rosy red and mysterious.

I’ve waded the waters on tropical islands,
Clear and warm, my feet in soft sand,
Bermuda, Grenada, Barbados, Tobago,
Aruba, Bonaire, Saint Kitts and Nevis,
Antigua, Saint Martin, Saint John, and Saint Lucia;
I thought I saw you there, your mermaid hair
Floating in the ripples of the sunlit sea,
Frolicking over the glistening waves.

At night with my father on the way back from Mattituck,
Just the two of us sailing, homeward bound,
My hand in the water glowed green as lime jello,
The luminous plankton excited and smiling,
Or was it your tail, swishing and splashing?

On Lloyd’s Neck, Long Island, across from Stamford,
Stones, oval and white, my father had gathered,
The remnants of glaciers worn smooth by the waters;
He sailed them to Stamford, and painted on faces,
By the picture window, in our home he displayed them,
The sun in the west, warmed and caressed them,
In my long-ago memory, they remind me of you.


Poem by Daniel E. Goldberg. Artwork: Empowered by Cheryl Tuttle

(Keeping On) Amusing?

AMUSING?

Eighth grade celebratory trip was to Play Land
Our local amusement park

We all bought tickets and spread out
I went to Dodgems where you drive around in small cars
Trying not to get hit
But if you do—if, say, George keeps bumping you
It means he has a crush on you.

And then the House of Mirrors
If you’re fat you can look fatter
Or thinner, how you think you really look
And if you’re thin, don’t look

And then the Roller Coaster
Open only to ages 12 and above
Don’t stand directions say
Absolving Play Land of suits
When thin is thrown to standing
And maybe even killed

Next are the Biggest Wheel cages’ gentle rides
Up and around with distant views
I went with Hillary, most popular eighth grade girl
And shared my binoculars.
She turned away and oohed and aahed
Oohed and ached at far away Long Island Sound

And when we disembarked, I had to ask again
For my binoculars back. Not once, but twice
As George ignored me but greeted her.

Mom asked later, was your day amusing?

I answered, Hilarious!


Poem by Jane Muir. Artwork: Wonder Wheel by Julie Ryan

(Keeping On) Sweet Morass

SWEET MORASS

Each day of seven days
a repeat that neither sails
beyond the rest nor lags
In laziness or in duress
but sits handsome in its
reticence, its nudge from
earth to foggy brush to
heaven’s vague offering
until we neither know to fly
the vaguely referenced
place of smudged trees,
of swamp, of a heaven
clearing just enough to
send us to our calendars
to recover day or month
or year, to wonder if,
in the layers of this universe
our families still dwell, never-
mind old friends, our grocer,
the neighbors we haven’t
spied for … who knows …
the days or years,
the dreamy week
it’s been since when …


Poem by Patricia Horn O’Brien
Artwork: Cylinder Series by Alice Chittenden

(Keeping On) Suggested Title: Tenacious

SUGGESTED TITLE: TENACIOUS

No matter what we think
or how it feels,
we don’t really break break,
even our break downs
imply eventual turn ups.

Oh sure, we bend a little,
(bend over backwards, too)
fold under pressure sometimes
lean into the pain
collapse with exhaustion
appear to come apart at the seams
and yet…

And yet.
Upon this holy ground of spirit
there is still room to breathe,
we are not damaged, we are flexible
we are not falling apart, we are rebuilding
we are not broken or undone.

By the very fibers of our being,
we are strength and grace
unyielding.

 


 

Poem by Jen Payne
Artwork: Untitled by Lisa Wolkow

(Keeping On) A Portrait

A PORTRAIT

Of all the artwork on display
I keep returning to your portrait.
What is it that draws my eye
back to this small painting.

Is it your pale blue gaze?
Your face filling the entire space?
Or is it…
That fiercely arched eyebrow?


Poem by Juliana Harris
Artwork: A Portrait by Scott Paterson

Guilford Poets Guild and the Guilford Art Center Present Ekphrastic Poems in March

Poets and artists alike have been “Keeping On” during the pandemic. Proof can be seen at the Guilford Art Center’s Faculty Exhibit and its accompanying series of poems written by members of the Guilford Poets Guild — both on view through the month of March. The exhibit and poems share how GAC instructors and GPG poets have engaged with their creativity to help them “keep on” during this time of the pandemic.

This is the fourth ekphrastic collaboration between the Guilford Poets Guild and Guilford Art Center, usually culminating in a reading at the Center. This year’s event is virtual, with poems appearing on both organization’s websites throughout the month.

Ekphrastic poetry is a response to a visual work of art, often a vivid, dramatic work that takes a painting, sculpture, or other artwork as its inspiration. With the GAC Gallery reopening, many GPG poets were able to view the artwork in person, while others visited the gallery virtually via photos and a walk-through video available on the GAC Facebook page.

If you can, be sure to visit the “Keeping On” Faculty Exhibit yourself. The gallery is free and open to the community Wednesday – Friday, 12:00-4:00pm and Saturdays 10:00 am-4:00pm. Mask wearing and social distancing is required upon entry. For more information contact Guilford Art Center at www.guilfordartcenter.org or 203-453-5947.

The Guilford Poets Guild is a group of award-winning, published poets from the shoreline who meet regularly to share poems and promote the love and engagement of poetry within the community. Throughout the year the GPG hosts a number of poetry readings including its popular Second Thursday Poetry Series, a Holiday Roundtable, the Guilford High School Poetry Contest, and coordinates poetry/art events with Guilford Art Center, the Madison Art Society and the Florence Griswold Museum. The Guild recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with the publication of its third anthology of poems, Our Changing Environment. The book is available for purchase online at http://www.guilfordpoetsguild.org and from Breakwater Books in Guilford.