Thursday, April 28, 2016

Return of the Grackles...and Poetry

 "The Rooks Have Returned" Alexei Savrasov, 1870.

It's been such an eventful month (I have a newborn niece! Crazy, late spring storms! Lots of paintings got made!) that I forgot to put up this post I made a few weeks ago.  

As some of you are aware, there was a rough period in my 20s when I didn't make much art due to insecurity, both financial and emotional. Yes, I did sketch and illustrate my own journals, but it took several years before I felt brave enough to start sharing my work again.  Interestingly, I wrote a lot during this time, perhaps as an alternate creative outlet.  I worked on a couple unfinished novels, wrote short stories, plays, and penned many, many poems.

To me, words are like paints: when placed together in certain patterns they form fantastic, vivid pictures in my mind. Admittedly not all artists are like this; it's perceived more of a "left-brained" (i.e. verbal) function instead of "right-brained" (visual) one, which is why I suspect so many of us loathe writing about our work. "One's art should just speak for itself!" is a flustered refrain.  And yes, I feel this way about certain kinds of writing; notably overly abstract, hoity-toity artist's statements; but give me a rainy day and a pad of fresh paper and I'll happily scrawl out my daydreams in longhand almost as readily as I would sketch them.

So as an experiment, I thought I'd start to put up a few snatches of verse on the blog, accompanied by drawings, photos, and so on.  Today's poem, written on the back of an envelope, goes as thus:

Grackles in Spring

Inked-up cousin of the soot winged crow,
call as sonorous as a rust-shut gate;
they arrive in April
and wait.
Expectant, gold-fierce eyes,
feathers briefly throwing
flashes of peacock hue;
they walk, beaks held high
as if to say,
We know you did not miss us
nor our parsimonious, pilfering ways.
But we still came
(we always do)
in darkling droves
beside the moon;
and here, in your yard,
your patch of seedy Paradise,
we shall certainly stay
an Eternity.

Laura G. Young
April 6th 2016

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