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ArtPoems 2017 Gallery
Salon A
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Volendam    by Berry van Boekel    ArtPoems 2017
One of us here—
child of Volendam—
will leave behind
wooden shoes,
bonneted head dress—
the stuff of homeland,
custom and comfort

One of us, tugged by
tinctures of turpentine
and sun-splashed oils,
will push through
this postcard pose,
seeking the promise
of other shores

but will find
in Antwerp and Lake Erie
icicles too frigid,
a chill too constraining
for canvas creations.

Then one of us—a child now—
will slip onto sandy soil,
laugh delightedly as
paint brushes awaken.

And, yes,
one of us here

will fuse forever,
the fronds and shoes,
the skirts and bonnets
into a new





   - Chris Godwin
An Artist's Journey
    Inspired by Berry van Boekel's "Volendam"

Ordinary Day
     Inspiration for Scott Guelcher's "Ordinary Day?"

Ordinary day
In the grocery store
Rushing, deciding
Whether pears or peaches would be best
As you reach for everything in the cart,
Your little hands
Trying endlessly to pull things off the shelves.

Exasperated, I tell you to stop
Something will break, come crashing down.
Thinking, I have no time for this.
Not understanding, 
This is all the time I have
And I am throwing it away.

Distracted, believing things elsewhere more important,
Not recognizing that you
Are all that ever really mattered.

It took me too long to learn
The broken pickle jar was never of any consequence
And this never was an ordinary day.

     - Sandy Greco
Ordinary Day?    by Scott Guelcher    ArtPoems 2017
Closed Windows    by Roy Rodriguez    ArtPoems 2017
The sky cries--see tears
stream down closed windows with bars.

Why does the sky cry? Why do I?
Why does the earth sob at conflicts, wars,
mobs who hate one another--why?

The U.S. is involved
in over 100 conflicts, the world many more.
Why do we struggle so, heads throb?

The number of people who die
often begins with 1000s, soon more,
depending on countries, tribes, cultures,

and the issues over which they fight.
Poets live inside metaphor
which can stand fast yet offer others,

Why Does the Sky Cry?
     Inspired by Roy Rodriguez' "Closed Windows"
may be mundane and mysterious.
Metaphor is found in image
and suggestive complexity,

enriched narrative, and we
understand that imagination
transforms the literal,

frees us from tyranny
of that often repeated line:
But that’s how it happened.

Picasso said it can teach us
that art may lie to tell the truth.

     - Mary Beth Lundgren

Simple Questions the Widow Asks Herself
    Inspiration for Terry Lynn's "Kiss"

Will I be content to die without ever again being kissed? Can I be 
happy to sleep for the rest of my life without the warmth of a body 
near by, never again to be held close when nightmares tear me awake?

I’m free now. Is it truly joyful to no longer be pressed to think
about, or think for, any man in my life? And, what about dumb
little freedoms? Will I celebrate the freedom to plop around the 
house all morning in a coffee-stained house coat, if I want to?

Or never having to sit at the movies in a row someone else prefers?  
But, will I still miss bumping into a hand in the popcorn bag, sometimes
having salt kissed off my fingers? Do I prefer riding home alone, no 
one to argue with about a movie’s rambling and bumbling plot?

But do I really, really love knowing dinner never has to be cooked?
That I can eat ice cream right out of the half-gallon box, having no 
witnesses, taking no prisoners? You’re free,” I whisper to myself.  
“You won’t miss the melodrama a man wears like cheap after-shave.” 
Yet, am I someone with skin that has forgotten what touch brings?  
Would I live just fine when my hands are in dish suds and there’s no man 
nearby who might come again to kiss the back of my neck before his 
arms encircled my breasts and asked, “Honey, do you need any help?”

And here’s another not so simple question. It comes up on lonely, gray 
mornings with the sound of the wood pecker trying to chase the gloom 
by tapping love calls on the neighbor’s tin roof. Will I live peacefully 
with this freedom if only memory alone celebrates the familiar weight 
of a man in hunger stretched out upon the length of my yearning body? 
I know all too well that libidos grow limp, dry days pass, there are 
distractions enough. But I am haunted because I was gifted, by fiery 
memories. The simple question hangs like wisteria. Just this one question.
Will I choose to die without the kisses and all that comes with them?

  - Sidney B. Simon

Kiss    by Terry Lynn    ArtPoems 2017
Carlos Sells Flowers and Fruit on the Beach    by Paul David Adamick    ArtPoems 2017
Hey Carlos
    Inspired by Paul David Adamick’s "Carlos Sells Flowers and Fruit on the Beach"

Your head bursting with blossoms, 
you are the first line in your family’s story, 
writing the continuing history of America. 

You work the beach on weekends,
your Latin charm laden with tropical fruit
and flowers, selling to the touristas.

Sun-burdened, a hot sandy beach is no escape
from the fields of peppers and tomatoes
you pick all week. Ah Carlos…

Everyone knows you are not from here.
Have you noticed, people look right through 
you, ignoring your callused hands, feet?

Carlos, you are drawing lines in sand, you are 
willing to walk beyond borders, yet some 
think you a threat, pedaling your pineapples.

No border, no boundary can contain your spirit. 
Carlos, you are who we Americans once were, 
we are who you will become.

   -Lorraine Walker Williams