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‘Artist Fear Not’ by Caryl Henry Alexander
Here’s to a second week of ALL FOR ONE! If you haven’t already, you may want to sit down with a friend, a coffee or a shady tree to enjoy this month’s issue of The Wild Word. The kaleidoscope of work that’s featured includes short essays by Maria Behan, Jami Ingledue, Annie Mark-Westfall, Irena Ioannou, James Prenatt, Tim Clark, Daniel Blokh and Rev. Rachel Kessler – all centered on our ALL FOR ONE role as citizens, friends, parents, writers/artists and neighbors. And then, there’s the showcased fiction by Thadd Simpson and Leif Ecklert – both pieces are especially consequential in challenging deep biases about living and loving. The poetry section is a box of chocolates, with a variety of pieces by Jeremy Nathan Marks (also presented as the vox poetica featured poet on July 24, 2017), Sergio Ortiz, Wendy Thornton and Devon Balwit – again, all with an eye towards the mysteries of the common cause.
In synch with the theme, I was recently given the gift of working with seven other poets who all glow with their commitment to the craft, their concern about these trying times and their trust in all energies, innovation and laughter that come from rubbing shoulders. So, to Nan Meneely, Sharon Olson, Carole Stasiowski, Gray Jacobik, Lawrence Wray, Ruth Foley and Anne Harding Woodworth, a “gratitudinous” grin from me for proving that the call of ALL FOR ONE is powerful and fun.
For this second week’s posting, Caryl Henry Alexander, a terrific artist with purpose and nearby friend, provided some of her images that evoke the spirit of ALL FOR ONE. Learn more about Caryl and her work at the following sites – carylhenryalexander.com, carylhenryalexander.blogspot.com or facebook.com/groups/Artistwithpurpose.
Over the coming week, I hope that you’ll share your thoughts on what ALL FOR ONE means to you. How does it sing to you – or not? What makes it hard to do? Why would you encourage young people towards it? How can we use our art to break down walls that separate us and prevent collective efforts?
Finally, with this second posting, I’m sharing a few more poems. Feel free to let me know if they are opaque or interesting, or if you have any other kinds of reactions? Thanks! Send feedback to HLAREW@gmail.com
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
How can you look so such in profile?
How do you conjure up each and all
You provide every by-way with
The edges of wings.
How can you be years’ abound by simply turning to say
And not know it—
A going that’s never fully—
A sliver slice of ever?
How does this crowded room suddenly become
Such an of course in your silhouette?
And how does an arrow start from inside you?
Why are you this almost and that fleeting?
Most of all
Why is so fully
Shout alarmed, like when you see fire suddenly.
Shout as if you’re wild in pain.
Or, if you’re called up on stage, shout like that.
Just as much too, shout the way you would
Being a prisoner –
And again, the way you must have
When you first heard lutes.
Terribly shout because of being grabbed from behind.
Then, shout hard just before parents fade.
And of course, always whisper to anyone bending towards you.
Only shout, then above that, shout as soon as you feel wings.
This poem first appeared in Seminary Ridge Review.
How many more sleeps before we kettle?
How much more salt over this stew?
Who are the onions, the gristle, the answers?
Follow the bubbles, follow the clues.
But what if our slurps get answered in poison?
And how do such spells turn into glue?
Why does the moon sly?
Why does pure joy cry?
Who’s making sure that all of this firewood
Gets split into two?
For the life of me
I can’t believe
How so much
Depends on glances or
For that matter
On giving up
But there it is –
Even all of history
And most of what’s to come
Is shaped by
Bending grasses and
Some morning’s chill
And all my plans are pauses
If I’ve been anything
I’ve been sloppy
With rules like puddles
And with love diced up for the ages
In fact said best
I’ve been an onion
And still resent deeply
What’s proven and known
Enough is enough
By the time you get this
The moon will have changed completely
I’ll be a ghost
Wonders that they are
Will have started all over again
This poem first appeared in Connections.
Caryl Henry Alexander is a visual artist whose passion is to create safe space in communities for people to unleash their imagination and creativity. She is a medicine woman who supports her co-creators to move energy in the service of their personal and collective wellbeing.
In the studio Caryl works as a painter, sculptor and mixed media artist. Most recently she has been following her love of nature, and gardening by integrating natural materials into her pieces.
Henry Alexander is also an educator, activist and a free range Unitarian Universalist. She is originally from Oakland California and currently lives in Maryland.
Hiram Larew is in wicked love with poetry. His work has appeared in journals and collections, most recently, Amsterdam Quarterly, vox poetica, Honest Ulsterman, Little Patuxent Review, FORTH, Viator and Every Day Poems. Nominated for four Pushcarts, he organizes poetry events, activities and conclaves that showcase wide poetic diversity and insights. A global food security specialist by training, he lives in Maryland, USA. See his page on Facebook.