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Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans City Park’

Click over to Carol’s Corner for more Poetry Friday.

Over at Today’s Little Ditty, Carol Hinz challenged us to write a poem that finds beauty in something that is not usually considered beautiful.  On a family Thanksgiving Day walk to City Park in New Orleans, we came upon an old outside bar covered in overgrown weeds and graffiti.  On the walls were a few amazing black and white drawings.  One of them caught my eye and then inspired a poem.

New Orleans City Park

At Violet Nesdoly’s blog, I discovered a new-to-me poetry form, Shadorma. The form is a Spanish version of the haiku with six lines and a syllable count of  3,5,3,3,7,5. The form fit well to what I wanted to say about the Graffiti Girl.

 

Graffiti Girl, City Park, New Orleans. Photo by Margaret Simon

 

Graffiti Girl

I am drawn
in hard black charcoal
staring out
of stone walls
yet when you see my image
your heart cries for me.

If you could
hold this star light high
a mirror
in my eyes
step into my wall, hold me,
would you come so near?

–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

 

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Today is the first day of March, and I decided I would take the plunge once again into the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge. This will be my 6th year doing this daily writing challenge. My purpose is completely selfish. I want to continue my connection with the wonderful, kind, and intelligent community of Slice of Life. After 6 years, I’ve made friends. And we stay in touch with each other through our blog posts.

I have been writing long enough to know that writing every day is a discipline that builds my writing muscles. I will be writing for myself. I’m not saying that I am not aware of my audience. I am. But I rarely look at stats. I have to say I do get a charge when WordPress sends me a notification “Your stats are soaring!” Who wouldn’t?

I begin today with a photo essay of a walk in New Orleans City Park on Monday with my daughter and her dogs, Abby and Mabel. In this section of the park, there is an old concession stand. Who knows why it was built! There are no ball fields nearby, only walking trails. A sign in the stand told this tale:

The Coven Bar
Built by hand in 1854 by honorable member of L. Clamput Vitus, Mary Jones Thicklebrush. This bar was erected after she and her Bernese mountain dog, Helmut, rescued a drowning man from an alligator attack in the river behind it. May her bravery and her thick callused hands be remembered for all of time.

The Coven Bar, New Orleans City Park

The Coven Bar, New Orleans City Park

A Google search turned up nothing about this “bar” or any of the names mentioned.  It seems The Coven Bar is a gay bar in Berlin.  But that’s all I got.

Graffiti covers the structure.  A green Grinch-like hand holds a pink telephone with the quote, “You Go Girl!”

city-park-grafitti

go-girl

In my opinion, this graffiti is both ugly and beautiful.  While set in the midst of nature, grassy fields, draping oaks, bouquets of palms, this structure turns my attention away from nature to the irony of artistic expression.

What is the message here?

Is there any meaning in the artwork or the bogus tale of its origins?

I don’t believe the purpose here is political, but I may be missing something.  The painting is quite clever.  I wonder if it has any connection to the tale about Mary Jones Thicklebush.

We continued on our walk.  Abby and Mabel both enjoyed off leash time sniffing, running, and meeting other dogs.  (Abby is in the photo below.  Mabel is much larger and still young so she was too fast to capture.)

abby

This Slice of Life challenge makes me pay more attention.  I look at the day to day and ask questions, wonder, write randomly.  Some days I may come to some wisdom, but today is not one of them.  Some days there are no answers, only questions.

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