Ekphrasis XII 2023 Online Exhibition
SET 1. Writer Initiators and Visual Artist Responders
A. DONALD SHEPHARD, "The Great Catsby." Response by painter ROBERT YELLAND: Catsby
B. windflower, "life flowing out." Response by artist KAREN FENLEY: Portal.
C. PETER NASH, "Hopscotch." Responder 1, photographer LARRY R. WAGNER: Quantum Leap.
Responder 2, artist PAT SCOTT: Pinpoint of Existence.
A. "The Great Catsby"
initiated by DONALD SHEPHARD.
A. Response by ROBERT YELLAND:
B. Initial poem by windflower
"life flowing out"
We long to make music
that melts the stars
human speech a cracked kettle
hammering us forward
holding us back silently
spinning its shadowy web
piece by piece crumb by crumb
one day following another
spring on winter an autumn
after summer a weight
quivering with every wind
in every cranny of the heart
waiting for something to happen
something always remains
stars melting into music
the memory of it
words and phrases from
B. Responding artist, KAREN FENLEY: Portal
Statement by Karen Fenley:
The poem inspired by Mdm Bovary seemed a longing for a sublime experience and the desire to repeat that experience.
C. PETER NASH: "Hopscotch"
When I was a boy
a girl would chalk a game of hopscotch
on the asphalt playground of St. Agnes Elementary School. Behind her on the blacktop
a giggling cluster of girls
waited their turn
to hop hop and leap
to where she landed
balancing as on the wings of an eagle,
one of her feet would touch a line
and she’d have to take her place behind the others.
I played dodgeball and kickball, kicking and screaming with the boys, afraid I’d be called
a sissy for playing hopscotch.
Hopscotch, devised by Alexander the Great to bolster the strength and agility
of his Macedonian foot soldiers
in laced leather leggings,
rawhide armor, and iron helmets
blue as hyacinth
as they pillaged Illyria,
burning hayfields, slaughtering cattle,
and leaping from one terrified farm girl to the next, a practice illustrating the Buddhist belief in bardho, the pinpoint of existence between death and life,
insanity and sanity,
bar meaning in between,
dho meaning island or mark,
like jumping across the river
from stone to stone,
dho to dho,
ultimately pitching into the water when the space between two stones is longer than you can leap.
C. Response 1 by photographer LARRY R. WAGNER: Quantum Leap
LARRY's Comments: The last verse of "Hopscotch" captured my imagination. Life is always a leap into the unknown. I immediately thought of a photo shoot I had done with Callie where I caught her in an incredible leap on the beach, and transposed it to our wild Mendocino Coast surf.
C. Response 2 to "Hopscotch" by Peter Nash. Peter's writing, above the photograph, also was sent to artist PAT SCOTT. The two responses, one by LARRY WAGNER (above) and one by PAT SCOTT are interesting to compare. Pat's Word Art Pinpoint of Existence and explanation are here, with the comments below the image:
Inspired by the last paragraph, defining “bardho, the pinpoint of existence" between life and death, sanity and insanity, I saw a parallel in a NOAA graph showing global warming. In this image, “bar” means between now and the projected limit of 1.5 C rise in temperature, and “dho” the ultimate destination to which we can no longer leap as the temperature keeps rising and earth burns and oceans die.
The underlying graph shows yearly global surface temperature compared to the average from 1880–2020. Blue bars indicate cooler-than-average years; red bars show warmer-than-average years. (NOAA Climate.gov graph, based on data from the National Centers for Environmental Information.)
Note the years of World War II in the 1940’s where there is sudden rise in temperature. And so it continues after a brief period of peace…..