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ArtPoems 2016 Gallery
Salon D
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   Inspiration for artist Roy Rodriguez' 
          "Wild Chickens for a New Tomorrow"

She struts forward on
She is gold and red and black
Tall and proud she glides
crossing the now vacant lot
through concrete alien structures

Concrete left to fade
crumbling struggling forms
to fight rain and sun
Monuments to who knows what
to a time of better times

When men said this place
this place is to make our own
made in our image
Long ago the easy parts stripped
left to the weeds and wild chickens

The proud wild chicken
she walks through and pauses
scratching shallow dirt
digging for a bite to eat
scratching, forever hopeful

In her wake seven chicks
yellow fluffs tinged with soft brown
peeping, skittering
drifting to find their own way
Running back to her shadow

   - Dan Reed England

Wild Chickens for a New Tomorrow   by Roy Rodriguez   ArtPoems 2016
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She Said I Know What It's Like   by Beth Everhart   ArtPoems 2016
The laughing child within

taps on the door of our hearts

the upholstery of our brains 

prepared to burst 

into the blaze of sun’s song 

at any moment 

Not content to linger 

amongst musty carpet 

discarded candy wrappers 

crumpled soda cans 

                                        or crushed coffee cups 

      - jd daniels
Above Polished Chrome Handles
   Inspired by artist Beth Everhart's
          "She Said I Know What It's Like"

Dressed in flowing white

a hide and seek figure hovers in shadow

ready to begin a journey to untraveled shores

or perhaps to stroll hand in hand 

on a familiar beach blessed 

by delicate sand dollars and greying

driftwood aged into art 

                                          by that almost invisible being 
Woman Overheard Talking To The Parrot
   Inspiration for Jaye Boswell's painting "The Parrot Whisperer"

I'm coming down the path from the store where my bike waited.
It's the market with the cages of Parrots that enthrall the tourists.
I see a long, lithe, slender, pony-tailed woman in her forties, maybe,
standing high on the bench talking to a Parrot that had started screeching.
In the softest voice, she says, "Don't be scared. I'm here. I'm safe and quiet."

It must have worked. The Parrot calmed down. She kept whispering.
"It's all right. I am comfort. No one will hurt you. You are safe."
I stopped, to hear and marvel at it all. "Don't be scared. I am here. I am soft."
Then I heard a voice that anyone would recognize as harsh. A man’s voice.
"OK, come on. Let's go." She heard it but did not listen to it. Again, even
more impatient, "It's enough. Come on." Strident. "Damn it. Time to go."

Now, maybe even softer, but with a strong resolve, she says, "Don't
be scared. Take comfort. I will not let anyone hurt you. I am here."
Her words, heard by a man who was too obviously connected to her.
"Get down from there. You can come back next year. Let's go."
She kept up her litany, as I walked on by to get to my bike. I wanted
to say something to him. "Man, you are damn lucky to have her."

Really, I’d rather have stopped, looked up at her to say, “You’re a good person,
lady. You deserve something better than that jerk." But path rage would make
me late for dinner and I had organic salad stuff I had agreed to bring and fix.

Back at the bike rack, I was glued,, guessing how long it would take before she quit.
I wondered, which of the cars parked there would be theirs. A Budget Rental Chevy?
Not any of the pick up’s. There was a Mercedes Convertible in the front row, top up on
a lovely day for convertibles. That seemed like him. Not open to anything, not to her.

Then she strode into sight. No rush to her. She must have been a dancer, once,
her posture straight and strong, the stride athletic, full of poise and grace. He
came next, about 5 feet behind, and I saw his pot belly. I did not hear them talk.
She waited for him to hold the door open for her. He was mad, went right to his door
Got in and started the engine, revved it up, roared his anger, finally unlocked her side.

She stood there looking up at the Bromeliads in bloom. I hopped on my bike, waited.
We had more than enough organic salad fixings for her. Berries and yogurt for dessert.
She could have ridden behind me on the luggage rack. I, too, am safe and comfort.
She seemed, yogurty. I still don’t know if she ever got in to go where he was going.
I’d sure like to know. Perhaps she told the Parrot. Maybe the Parrot would tell me.

   - Sidney B. Simon

The Parrot Whisperer   by Jaye Boswell   ArtPoems 2016
His Mews
   Inspired by artist Paul David Adamick's
        "Bald Niko Enjoys When His Cat Blu-Z Sits On His Head"

Bald Niko enjoys 
when his cat Blu-Z sits on his head.
Soft paws hang against cheeks’ bristle.
Whiskers tickle his shiny pate.
Barbed claws scratch away debris of mind.
Blu-Z’s tail wound around Niko’s ear
bids her student listen
to her quiet purr.
Thoughts occur, begin to glisten
inside Niko’s eyes.
Threads of colored light
Spin a half-word at a time ---- 
divine into a poem with no rhyme,
meaning that causes wonder. 

In barren winter they walk 
Blu-Z, a fat fur hat,
swats at wind-blown birds.
Snags a wild, feathered wisp
to slip under her left hip.
Nikos’s thoughts begin to pulse
in rhythm with the new heartbeat,
rise moist and round,
form ergonomic shapes.

As Niko sleeps, cat on head
breathes breath of mouse and curry.  
A penumbra forms, halo like 
around him on his bed.
At times he dreams of chia pets,
sometimes a red corvette.
Often of small furry things,
partially eaten bones  
thrown up on shore by the sea.
He watches them arrange in patterns
flowing with unearthly colors.
These disappear behind mornings’ tideline
and a smile shared by Niko and Blu-z.

   - Linda Hughes

Bald Niko Enjoys When His Cat Blu-Z Sits On His Head
by Paul David Adamick      ArtPoems 2016
In My Dreams
   Inspiration for artist Ava Roeder's
      "Walking Through a Dream"

In my dreams--

not in the gray crown
tending more and more to white,
not in the wrinkled, leathery skin
flecked with unwelcome spots
beginning its shift to parchment,
not in the confident pace
showing a tiny lilt
a concession to arthritic feet.
Not in any of these external markers--
rather, in my dreams
I find the clearest expression
of advancing years.

There, in those dreams
I mine the detritus of a life

remolded like recycled art
into something new and strange
from recognizable relicts
of an earlier time.

   - Larry Stiles

Walking Through a Dream   by Ava Roeder   ArtPoemd 2016