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Posts Tagged ‘Cathy Mills’

E is for Ekphrasis. This is one of my favorite styles of poetry. I like to use art for inspiration. If you’ve followed my blog, you know this and have seen many poems I’ve written to go with art.

Today is April 7th, and I’m only on the 5th letter of the alphabet. I’ve had to give myself permission to not fulfill my own assignment. This next week is state testing. I may be a little grumpy, so I am going to write what I want to write. The students will not be coming to my class, so our daily poetry exercise is suspended until next week. We will take up where we left off.

My friend, fellow teacher and artist, Cathy Mills sent me images of some of her paintings. Today I am writing to another in her series of Stories. This one I wanted to play with the visual as well as the words, so I captured it as an image.

"Layer upon Layer" by Cathy Mills

“Layer upon Layer” by Cathy Mills

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Slice of Life Challenge Day 11

Slice of Life Challenge Day 11

A few weeks ago I ran in to an old friend at an art show. She was showing a new body of work. We talked, and I told her of my love of writing ekphrastic poetry. On Saturday, she sent me by email a number of her paintings. Here is my experiment with the first.

Inner Faces by Cathy Mills

Inner Faces by Cathy Mills

Inner Faces

If only I could see you in double,
inside and out,
transformed
like the wings of a butterfly
opening, welcoming,
letting me in.

If only you could know my desire
to be your only mother,
the one who loves you most,
maybe you would honor me
with your presence
and let me in.

If only our lives were connected
by a strong abdomen
we could share more than a name,
a recognition of two faces
mirrored and aware,
letting me in.

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

On Sunday, I went to an art opening at A&E Gallery. In this show, I knew some of the artists, and I took the time to talk to them about their work and their process. My simple question, “Tell me about your art,” usually leads to a long, fascinating story. I learn a great deal about the artist and what drives their work.

This piece drew my attention. I’ve known the artist, Cathy Mills, for many years. We were Writing Project teachers together, but we had fallen out of touch. When she told me about this piece, she talked about how it had started out as a tree and then became these heavenly women. After others stepped away, she said, “Can I tell you what is really going on in this piece? I lost my son a year ago.” She proceeded to tell me how the painting was healing to her. She feels at peace now. She knows her son is at peace. Teary-eyed, I asked if I could photograph the picture and write a poem about it. I sent her the poem by email, and she approved its publication here hoping it may help someone else who is struggling with grief.

Art by Cathy Mills

Art by Cathy Mills

The Story

The flames ignite in her spine
growing to yellow gold. She can feel
her bones, every sinew, every nerve hot,
like her pulse, raging and fierce.

She remembers the call at 2 AM.
She hears the nurse’s voice,
“We have your son here.”
She knew he was gone.

With all the time she had, every arrest,
every hospital stay, every cry,
nothing could have saved him
from the fire. Now, peace rises

in blue angels from the roots
of her mothering. These women announce
Joy, pronounce Glory.
Tell her that he is well.
All will be well.

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