Bio Note: I am the author of seven collections of poetry. From 2008-2020, I designed and facilitated social art courses for older adults with the City of Vaughan (just north of Toronto). When the City programs were shut down due to the novel corona virus, I shifted to designing custom courses for individuals and small groups, working from my home, and painting solo. One of my recent paintings serves as cover art for my collection, Shape Taking (Ekstasis Editions, 2021).
Entering the Painter’s Space
Feel the atmospherics. See the common center where the eye backs out of the brush. Flat field, bent grass, billowing blue you’d take for sky is water: true or false? Count on contradiction, unexpectedness, a link: St. Elmo’s rain, anticipation soon of seeing sun. Sun will not be sun alone and trees not only trees. Lead me to the clearing where you paint. There, a window frames a Sitka spruce, her drapey raiment. A flimsy wishing- nest of mourning doves—interpreter- angels. Scrying sky we’ve all seen holding heaven touching down, in lines as slant as ladders— piercing pink to coral-violet sea to seaweed green. Perpetual: the empathy of color.
Magical Carpets by Barbara Feith,
watercolor and ink, 12” x 10”
Photo credit: Elana Wolff
for Barbara Feith (1927-2021) Barbara painted tiny rugs, embellished them with ink— the kind that comes to life with mythical thinking. She might have chosen other means than fine, exacting strokes but so loved Istanbul, the Grand Bazaar, the turquoise palaces, the waters and the mosques, the skies. And that’s the way she worked. Look, a decorated horse. The golden- red chiaroscuro glints— I’ll ride him saddle seat and he won’t throw me. In private re-enactment, I’m among the antique flyers. From on high, I watch an entourage— a line of inklings— wending down a hillside to a strand. Everything these pilgrims own is added to their backs. It’s hard to understand their will to walk and yet it’s not: A woman in a glowing robe and diadem is leading. Rays are falling on the carpets waiting to be claimed. Into art does not mean out of reach.
©2022 Elana Wolff
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL