A Return to December…

Aisle 5

They stood around, the three of them
as I came beside for ‘matoes.
Loud and boisterous they spoke of them-
this generation’s pathos.

“They don’t know what work is!
They’ve never had to do it!
Plow the back forty, bail the hay,
clean out the barn, all in a day!”

I stood there with diced, sauce and paste,
One woman and two men.
I was in between them…
In a middle generation.

I’m up before the dawn
to plow with pen and paint
Lines upon the papers…is this “work”?
To them, I’m sure it ain’t.

-jpe

4 December 2011
In a series of poems from the vantage point of my shopping cart at Walmart.

December was an interesting month. It might be described as magical.  Or befuddling.  Whatever it was that caused it, I found myself with words raining down all around me.  I could hardly catch them all.  If you remember, I had declared December as a Holiday from blogging.  Not from my daily drawing and other creative goings on, but just from blogging and being so tied to Facebook.  It was, in hindsight, as if my restriction of words in one direction, opened a door for them in another.  I’d wake up in the mornings and have poems already half “done” in my head.  I’d race downstairs to pin them to the page.  I’d go on my morning walks in the neighborhood…only to quicken the pace near the end for fear of losing the poem that trotted along with me at every footstep.  Sound bizarre?  It was.  At least it felt that way, being someone who is more familiar with images running through my mind to paint, to draw, to sketch.  Words?  Really?

I have written the odd poem here and there throughout my life.  Some very dark and personal.  Some lighthearted and carefree.  In all, I “received” over 30 poems in both categories in the month of December. I shared a few of them with you in Postcards like this one and that one, and this too, oh and here as well and finally here.  It actually had begun in November with poems dropping in every week or so, like here and here.  It seemed to want to continue into January, but both busyness (aka. The Art Show prep) and my own desire to stop-the-madness brought it to a halt for a while.  I have, since the fury of the art show, written one or two poems since.  (One recent poem is in my new Zine as a treat for you! I have not posted it on my blog…and probably won’t.  A gift from me to you who purchase my little Zine:)

And I like it better that way…words coming in a little at a time.  Images have a way of flooding into my head and I can feel quite “backed-up” if I don’t have a regular flow letting some out.  But the words were the worst: they DEMAND to get out, to be “gotten down”, to have a life on paper instead of stuffed inside a brain that can no longer remember very much!  In December I felt a bit like I was at the behest of these words, rather than the other way around.  THEY were dictating to me and there was nothing for it but to write them down.  I shared a few of them with you in December.  I think I shall paint and sketch little images to go with some of the others to share with you.

The above poem is in a little series I’ve called “Shopping Cart Poems”.  They are exactly that…poems that got plunked in my head as I pushed a cart around at our local Walmart.  Hm.  So many times we think inspiration can only strike on the tops of mountains gazing at breathtaking views.  Right there, in the most mundane of places…little poems to catch and render. Hm.  More fuel for my conviction that Art is RIGHT WHERE WE ARE!  We don’t have to exit our lives to be the artists we want to be.  We need to present IN the lives that we have and look for, indeed EXPECT, that art is happening underfoot.

Even in Walmart. Go figure.

0 thoughts on “A Return to December…

  1. Lynn says:

    “Art is right where we are” – excellent advice that i will try to remember daily. I love both the poem and the sketch. Food is always such fun to draw.

  2. Jane A says:

    I loved this part of your post, which really stood out: ” We don’t have to exit our lives to be the artists we want to be. We need to present IN the lives that we have and look for, indeed EXPECT, that art is happening underfoot.” – So true, and so good to be reminded of it.
    Thanks! Jane
    ps great poem, lovely picture

  3. Alex Tan says:

    Love it! I love tomatoes(my wife doesn’t) and I use it a lot in my cooking anyway, especially soup!
    Beautiful drawing, and it makes me hungry for some actually ^^

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