When I go sketching in the woods
I want to put it all on the page.
Every green pine bough,
each twisty oak branch,
the lichen covered rocks,
the fields of emerald fern,
the bald eagle across the river,
the brown beetle scuttling across the path,
the sapphire blue sky pouring through lacy branches.
The job of the artist is to
grow deaf eyes to abundance,
and then bear your focus on that
little bit of bark in front of you
and infuse it with all the love
you have for everything else.
The story behind the poem and the painting:
This poem is my portrait of my mom, Nora Moore, an artist. I also see it as an ars poetica, about the making of poems or any act of creativity. After this poem was published in Talking Stick (21), I gave my mom a copy of the journal. It was not long after that she made this painting. In this way, our work became a creative collaboration between mother and son.
Poem published in What to Pray For (Nodin Press), first published in The Talking Stick, 21, 2012. Painting, Sketching in the Woods, by Nora Moore, copyright 2012.