Friday, November 18, 2005

Wear Something Nice

I hope if you are free you will join us for my Westcott Community Art Gallery Opening at The Westcott Community Center from 6-8 PM Friday night (tomorrow!)Poetry will be from 7:15 to 7:45. Jane Cassady will MC.Refreshments will be served.The Gallery is on the second floor of the Westcott Community Center on the corner of Euclid and Wescott, an old firehouse.If you cannot make the opening, the gallery is open from 9-5:30 M-F and lots of evening for programs. The show will run through Dec 30. Posted by Picasa

Opening poem remarks for tonight's reading

Opening remarks for Westcott Opening reading

The two poems I am going to read refer obliquely to my work as a poet, photographer, and artist. I hope the connection will be sufficiently evident.

For those of you who knew my father, I will have to explain that the second poem is from a dream I had last night, and does not refer to his “real” dying.

Both poems are brand new, I wrote one last night and one this morning, so I apologize for their roughness.

Mary Stebbins


Two new poems

Here are my two new poems for my reading tonight at the Wescott Community center.

I wrote one last night and one this morning.

Unfortunately, the formatting was lost in the transfer to the blog so you cannot see the stanzas. I don't have time to fool around with it now, but I may go back and fix them later if I can.

Not my Thing

I could have skipped my walk, but trudged

instead into the rain. Hard rain, a long crawl

through blazing darkness, under the trees.

Raindark, early dusk. Not quite a crawl, more like a crouch.

Not really trees, but thornbushes. Hawthorne and buckthorn.

I could have gone mall-walking, but it’s not my thing.

Through the thorn bushes, it’s two steps

across the Peninsula, river

on the north, bay to the south. The trail clings

long to the slick edge of the bank, a misstep

away from dark water.

On all sides, thunder.


Over and over.

Non-stop crashing,

a blaze of noise and light.

On the trail, half a dead fish,

huge pike, mouth open, eyes

turned up, milky but staring

into the strobe of sky.

A smear of moon shone through clouds,

waxing gibbous, a blur under the lace

of mist, visible between flashes.

To the rain and moon I lifted my face,

suddenly glad I had come. I wanted

to lick all the light from the sky.

Mary Stebbins

051117 for Keith and Pat

for my reading tonight at the Wescott Community Center

A Jungle of Light

A Jungle of Light

As he is dying, my father furiously paints.

Instead of the small invisible strokes

he used earlier, precise as a photo, he splashes

light on the canvas with a wide brush,

bold and bright.

I find him at work, crouched over his easel

painting the sunroom he'd always wanted

but never had. He looks out from a jungle of light

and leaf to a succession of mountains gold and gold

in the setting sun.

Beside him is a painting of water lilies, each one

flaming green and gold, light defining

the leaves and liberating the water. He creates

the light with an absence of paint.

He tells me when he looks inside, all he sees

is darkness, and vultures, circling.

But in this painting beside him, still wet, a phoenix

circles the sun. It pulses with brilliance,

yellows, oranges, and reds.

When he can't stand any more, he sits,

and when he can't sit, he paints lying curled on his side.

His last painting is himself, ink blue, black,

purple and plum. Drenching him with light,

the sun rises inside his heart.

Mary Stebbins

for Pa


for my reading tonight at the Wescott Community Center