What Would You Like Named After You?

Rich asked me this question on our trip. Maybe because we were crossing a beautiful suspension bridge named for someone we’d never heard of.

I said: a waterfall.
Rich said: a sandwich.
For him, I’m thinking a vegetarian sandwich named “The Rico.” No onions.

Later, he changed his mind and said: a dessert. An ice cream dish.

Later, after I’d seen a magnificent plantation, art deco sculpture garden, and downtown Charleston, I said: a bench.

Why You Don’t Have To Work Harder As An Artist

The southern part of the United States is known for its writers. In Charleston, SC I am thrilled to see that the free give away ART MAG has real literary coverage, including an amazing resource:
Making Your Life as an Artist by Andrew Simonet.

The book is downloadable at:

Here are some quotes—but I really suggest reading the entire thing.

Taking power as an artist means going
from beggar to partner. Artists who are
strong partners thrive. They find resources,
connections, and audiences. They don’t wait
for opportunities; they create opportunities.

I think of careers like scaffolding, those metal
and wood structures you put up when you are
building a house.
The scaffolding is important. Pay attention to
it. But it is not the house. If you focus all your
efforts on the scaffolding, you end up with a
lovely scaffolding and nowhere to live.
Your career is not your work; your career
supports your work.

Sustainable means your life can work over the
long term.
A lot of artists’ lives are built for 23-year-old
single, frenetic, healthy, childless workaholics.
That doesn’t last. Our lives change and our
needs change.
Sustaining is radical.
(Starving is not.)

San Miguel of The Sanctuario de Chimayo by Cheryl Marita

San Miguel of The Sanctuario de Chimayo
Cheryl Marita

San Miguel, your colors  bright after 185 years of
 vigilance,  nurturing us as we sit beside you,
 our prayers entrusted to your judgment scales. 
Jose Aragon carved  wings to cradle you,
and we, the pilgrims who kneel in this pew at your feet, are cradled in your gaze.
I sit here craving to know  Jose’s love and devotion of two centuries ago.
I have come as a farmer in 1850 after stealing a calf from my neighbor,  my children  starving.
I have come as a mother in 1885 after burying two of my children trampled by their horse.
I have come for your blessing as a new wife, dragging my drunk husband by the collar.
I have come as a soldier, back from WW I without my leg.  I come in disgust of war and my body.
I have come as a veteran of WW II, sobbing, shell shocked, surrounded by my wife and daughters who            want me to forget, but my mind dwells with the boys who died in my trust.
I have come as a nurse from Vietnam, staring at you in hatred.  How could you allow the pain of all those  beautiful teenagers, as their shattered arms and legs were amputated?
I have come high on heroin after the gulf war, where I learned how to soften reality with a needle.
I have come as a believer, knowing you stand strong, victorious over Satan.  You can hold me up as I pray  for strength to run away, again, from the evildoer who fathered my 5 daughters.
I have come as Satan, to be close to you in combat, hoping that you are indeed stronger than the slot   machines that steal my children’s dinner.
I have come with questions and prayers, begging for a word, a sign that there is a spirit who can bolster  me in this frail humanness I bring to your feet.
I want to touch your wooden feet,
feel light from your blue wooden eyes,
hear comfort from your red wooden lips. 
I will sit in the pew and wait.
                I will come back.
I will. 

Ekphrastic Poem by Basia Miller

Cibachrome Blue
inspired by a photo by Gary Groves at SFCC

Against an ecru background,
blue form with inverted-V shadow,
empty like a coat-hanger corner,
reaching just to the frame’s edge.

I know the risks of near-doubling,
because I write my observations
in wiry penmanship that travels
over white notebook paper.

The form is something like a mountain
contained by Library walls. But
the high point of the mottled blue
possible-granite is black, not snowy.

The photo carries me outside the room,
wondering in what latitude
I could find this peak to climb.

I finally read the title,“Blue Agave.”
It’s a close-up of a narrowing lobe,
whose snagged tip says
the robust form breathes, lives and dies.

Knowing that, I get a chill in my spine,
since the fat succulent and its slender echo
write the difference
between fullness and decay.


Stick Figure Iron~Giraffe by Katharina Maria Becker


Stick Figure Iron~Giraffe

Lost in time yet forged in place rendered in childlike proportions you seem/displaced and look forlorn reduced to basic lines.

Katharina Maria Becker

The breath of time covered you with a layer of rust

at times sparkling in the rays of the sun/
your triangular head on the iron rod it’s eyes

gazing aimlessly at the concrete pillar supporting the portal. I see ~ you proudly
display and armor your chest

with an iron clock-face dial plate
emphasizing the ten minute call or the two hour interval.

A singular wooden chair under the portal

inviting the lonely straggler to sit in your company beckoning with the luxury of
getting lost in time ten minutes you hope, maybe two hours.
No need for watch hands
I know you have long stopped going places

waiting is your lot in life
your two hind legs are a solid pillar.
Stick Figure Iron-Giraffe where is the agility and grace you so easily display in nature?

Stick Figure Iron-Giraffe
my childlike imagination can see you graze eloquently Setting you free in luscious
fields of daring adventures.


Flight by Judy K Mosher

The Waiting Room

Flight by Judy K Mosher

(An Ekphrastic Conversation with The Waiting Room, acrylic on canvas,
by Jeanne Chastain, on display at Santa Fe Community College)

Soft leafy backdrop, with pebbly base in triptych.
Greek columns of darkness, open as the
night sky turns to day.

I am dreamy, see the surreal
fly blind as my security blanket
blows in the wind.

Majestic barn owl clutches prey
field mouse dangles from talons in
a backdrop unfamiliar.

My familiar backdrop —
not always welcome or wanted —
lifts like an anchor from deep sand.

The darker the sky, the more
luminous, numerous the stars until
dark makes light.

Where is light in my darkness?
My feet wobble without reference points
like a sea turtle beached in Belize.

Barn owl, carrier of messages, sustenance,
what tale do you have from mystery
from deep space beyond human ego?

Even glimmering oyster shell walls
crack under weight of
holding pretty pillars.

At once, this space of surreal openness
a barren room, and
one pregnant with possibility.

My rooms close, I cannot breathe.
When Mother dies, will I be mouse or owl?
Who will collapse into dark-sky made light?

Ekphrastic Poem by Brendan Lopez

Brendan Lopez
The sky is falling.
Falling all around me and I have no idea what to do.
The clouds don’t want to hold in the rain.
They seem bent on ruining me.
And spreading misery to those I touch.
Because when I get close to people, the sky falls down around them too.
This unfortunate business has me pushing everyone away.
For their own sake, of course.
And of course I’m always the villain to them.
Whether or not I’m vilified is of no consequence to me.
I don’t want them to understand, either.
An existential fog drapes over me like a wet blanket.
Numbing me down to the core.
And everything I write will be sad.
Doomed to repetitive melancholia.
As the sky hopelessly falls around me.
Leaving me choking for a breath of fresh air.
Which may never come.
Angry light blinds me, and booms through my body.
Making the emptiness seem hollower.
And all I want to do is scream.


Blue Gorilla: Ekphrasis Poem by Jane Tokunaga


Blue Gorilla
Metal Sculpture, Recycled Car Door Panels
13 Ft. Tall Seating
By Don Kennell

You lounge on the hard winter ground in the Rail Yard Park,
watch the traffic on Guadalupe Street, in Santa Fe,
sit thirteen feet tall and use a busted-off yellow car door
with the City of Española insignia as an armrest,
your body is all used car door parts –blues and grey, silver and black,
riveted together into a loose patchwork,
your face crowned with baby blues– patient, alert, waiting.

What are you waiting for?
People like me soldered into their cars to break free?
A ride to the Philadelphia zoo?
They won’t appreciate you there, I can tell you,
you are a wild creature of recycled auto parts
from Espanola, the capitol city of junk cars in northern New Mexico,
you have been culled from acres of prime wrecks that are slowly
decomposing into the rust and dust of the high desert,
you have family here — the man who made you, the men who gathered your metal skin
and helped mold you together– we are good at patching folk back together here,
like the woman in Albertson’s parking lot who pounded and riveted
her busted passenger door back onto her little grey Honda
and created a work of art along the way,

We have cowboys and construction workers here, farmers, and guys who work for
state government, who transform into gorillas each weekend as they drive
their Harleys and Yamahas, tricked-out cycles and hogs
up towards Colorado or down to Las Cruces,
or just slowly up and down the Alameda.
We are strong and we accept you giant ape, just as you are,
you can stay as long as you want
and I just want a photo here–
Do you mind?
–of me and you Big Boy.