Example poetry

artOasis mixes poetry and plays | Entertainment

A form of Japanese poetry, haiku, was all the springboard eight local artists needed to create a multidisciplinary gallery exhibition at the Old Courthouse Heritage Museum in Inverness titled “Of Poems and Pieces: Art from the Heart”. They call themselves artOasis.

Brenda Spilios, a sculptor who creates from “found” objects, helped artOasis use a book, “Haiku Mind” by Patricia Donegan, to inspire their designs. Haiku are minimal poems consisting of three lines, often with a twist in the third line.

Here is an example of a haiku by Diane Di Prima: “the inner tide / what moon does it follow / I’m waiting for a poem”. This haiku inspired Ann Covington’s colored pencil creation entitled “Inner tide”.

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Spilios created an assemblage of found objects called “Ode to the Uprooted” using a haiku of his own creation – “wild water lily / picked in mud and mist – / I too yearn for what was.” Her sculpture combines fragile elements of glass, wire, organic materials and a blackened heart with a charm bracelet.

Christine Randle created a moving collage/photomontage “Mnemosyne Convenes Her Daughters”. Randle’s title refers to Mnemosyne, the mother of the muses. His poem, “This lonely pasture-/ What secrets will be told?” what ears to hear them? brings images of mannequins separated by a barbed wire fence inviting both irony and humor.

Jeanneine Cole’s acrylic painting “Moon Reflections” expands from the poem “mind the truth/ silent prayer/ just the moon on the road”.

“The inspiration for this painting was the memory of watching the full harvest moon rise over our coyote fence and the junipers in our yard in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where my husband Chuck Chesnul and I lived as snowbirds. ….Flanking the scene are silver aspens whose leaves turn the Sangre de Cristo Mountains above Santa Fe to gold each fall,” Cole says of his work.

Susan Strawbridge used this poem by John Wills – “I catch / the maple leaf then I let it go.” Her vibrant watercolor “Leaves Falling into the Lake” evokes the transience of summer turning into the fragile beauty of autumn.

Joy Livingston continues her crow-themed images from Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Blackbirds” and then transforms them. It condenses verse five of Percy Shelley’s poem “To A Skylark”. Here’s her adaptation – “Into the clear white dawn/ Till we barely see her/ We feel she’s there.”

Joi Sampsell created a montage of words and musical scores to create a multi-layered image of words and music. I wrote a series of haiku to accompany the play. Here is one of them – “Music’s mute key / Silent contemplation / Melodious chaos.”

Michele Wirt created several ceramic pieces and two paintings. A painting of his late mother shelling beans derives from a Hozai Ozaki haiku – “letting go / of a slanderous heart – / while shelling the beans”.

This is the group’s second gallery offering at the Old Courthouse Museum. The first show focused on Wallace Stevens’ poems “Thirteen Ways to Look at a Blackbird”.

The museum gallery is open for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. “Of Poems and Pieces…” will remain in the ground floor galleries until May 28.


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