Betty O’Hearn’s “Blood Lover” after Erin Gray


Though her new groom is far from a blood sucking vampire – Roger Link is a great guy! – Betty O’Hearn’s sexy poem after Erin Gray’s photograph heralds forbidden love.  Congratulations to Betty and Roger; may your life journey together be one amazing trip! Photo of Betty O’Hearn at the June 18, 2016 Art of Poetry event courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Betty O’Hearn
after “Vampire Tears” by Erin Gray

You loved me for centuries.
Now, left me for another.
On that mountain of field flowers,
kissed by the moon, you tortured
my senses with lust.
My inamorato for a lifetime,
memories linger from the pleasure
met with pain as you took me
into a dark abyss that changed me forever.
You wanted to break me and you did.
Promised immortality.
Promised everlasting beauty.
Two puncture marks began a life I chose.
There is no scorn, as I love you unconditionally.
My red tears are a remembrance
of the blood you took from me.
We will no longer drink our food
together. Kill me. I may be dead but
I only live with and through you, my love.
End my suffering and be done with me.
I will not be without you.

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Melissa Hager’s “Angel Parts” after Jane Voorhees


Melissa Hager reads her poem inspired by Jane Voorhees’s pastel painting at the June 18 Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art.  Submissions are currently being accepted for the September 17 event.  To be considered, poems should be submitted to by midnight September 3, 2016. For submission guidelines, CLICK HERE. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

ANGEL PARTS by Melissa Hager
after “Mountain Whispers” by Jane Voorhees

Cherubim wings brush tousled hillside,
reach from soaring heavens to coax
morning dew from upturned pines,
forest floors, into the sunrise.

Or perhaps tendrils of seraphim hair
float down from stormy skies
to relieve heat of a sultry afternoon
as sun sets on the day.



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Kelly DeMaegd’s “Of This Earth” after Albert Hodge


Kelly DeMaegd introduces her poem beside the Albert Hodge pottery that inspired her at the June 2016 Art of Poetry event. The Folk Art 3rd floor of Hickory Museum of Art is  a permanent display. Be sure to check it out!

Kelly DeMaegd
after “Face Jug” by Albert Hodge

Whisper the words of Elihu.

Hitch mules, load picks,
mattocks, head to the clayhole,
gouge down eight feet,
through orange loam,

strike a vein of gleaming gray.
Dig mud, dip water,
dig mud, fill wagon,
haul to the pug mill.

Grind into fine particles,
remove air bubbles, drag
to wedging bench, cover
with wet burlap, repeat

the words of Elihu,
I too have been
formed out of clay.
Center ball on wheel,

cup work-cracked hands,
hands that cajole
worth from lowly soil,
hands that understand

how to coax creation upwards.

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Details for September Event’s Submissions


Following are the details for the next Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art:

The submission deadline is September 3 and the reading will be September 17 at 2:00.

To submit, simply go to the museum and write poems about the works on exhibit. Please note the dates of eligible exhibits below. Submissions should:
-include name of the artist and the title of the inspiring work
-be typed in the body of an email (do not send attachments)
-be typed using 12-point Arial font, single spaced
-be sent to Kelly DeMaegd at
-Art of Poetry will use no more than 3 poems by any individual poet – this is a new guideline
-Art of Poetry reserves the right to decline work that may not be appropriate in content, or of literary quality as determined by its panel of judges.

Approximately 20 poems will be selected to be displayed at the museum and to be read by the author (or selected substitute reader) at the reading. The reading is free and open to the public. Audiences have ranged from 15 to 45 people. After the reading, with permission of the poet and artist, poems will be posted on the Art of Poetry website at

Eligible exhibits are as follows:
·Fanjoy Labrenz / Tom Shields Collaboration (Entrance Gallery and 1st Fl. Shuford Gallery; August 6 – November 13)
·Holy Land Revisited: Works by Norma Suddreth (1st Fl. Regal & Gifford Galleries; July 30 – October 9)
·Pat Viles Retrospective (2nd Fl. Coe Gallery; September 3 – December 4) The museum will try to have this exhibition up the week prior. Poets may ask for images of the works to browse through as well.
·Pastels from the Permanent Collection (2nd Fl. Windows Gallery; through September 18)
·Collecting Starkweather: Then & Now (1st Fl. Whitener Gallery; through September 18)
·Discover Folk Art (3rd Fl. Ongoing)
·Glass & Pottery from the Permanent Collection (2nd Fl. Objects Gallery; Ongoing)

If you have any questions, please email Kelly DeMaegd at

Hope to see and hear your works on September 17 at Hickory Museum of Art!

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Beverly Finney’s “Papa’s Old Car and That Woman” after Malia Bryngelson


Beverly Finney reads her poem inspired by Malia Bryngelson’s painting at the June 18, 2016 Art of Poetry at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Beverly Finney
after “In From the Outback” by Malia Bryngelson

Rumors of the other woman in his life
persisted in the family for years.
Not other women–the other woman.
He was not a philanderer.
Whatever part it played, she meant
something to him beyond sex
according to the letters found when
his boys cleaned out the old car
it was said he had bought for her.
At some point he parked it, still filled
with scattered bills, papers and those letters,
its finish grimy and rusting, tires rotting,
locked and abandoned until he was gone.
Someone said she came to his funeral
in a wide-brimmed red hat–
not a demure black one or navy–
slipped in and out before anyone
could speak to her, catch her name.
The mother of his children forgave him
one Sunday afternoon sitting on the arm
of his favorite chair, her arm on his shoulder.
I wonder if he thought about that the day
he keeled over in the watermelon patch.
Or if he was thinking about the woman
in the red hat who rode beside him
in the passenger seat of that car, her hair
ruffled by the breeze through the open
window, her hand resting warmly on his.

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Doug McHargue’s “Out of the Cubicle” after Malia Bryngelson

“Out of the Cubicle” is read by Doug McHargue next to the artwork that inspired her at the June 2016 Art of Poetey event.

Douglas McHargue
after “Happy Camper” by Malia Bryngelson

He is cubicle white
under fluorescence,
pale papers flutter
from doughy fingers
to manicured bosses,
office chicks snicker
like beer pong divas
at his back,
work anemic amnesia.

Darkness, but we see him,
do not see the tent
he has slept in, dreamed
he is boss
and they love him,
his benevolence,
five coffee breaks
all-day donuts
pink copy paper for divas
cigars for the guys
office cruises to Cuba
twelve week vacations.

Do not break camp,
tonight he is the fire.

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Patricia Deaton’s “At The Center of a Colored-Pencil Sun” after Faith Davis

imagePatricia Deaton reads her poem at the June 18, 2016 Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art beside the Faith Davis photograph.  Many poetic works this quarter were inspired by the Catawba Valley Camera Club’s winning photography. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Patricia Deaton
after “Creative Love” by Faith Davis

I have seen how colors shape a heart and I am inspired

to write a sentence for each day in my ordinary life;

try rainbow colors to pen history and mood. I’m sure

I’ll write a lot with green since I have a knack for nurturing

now that I take the time. Black is so familiar. I won’t

pick yellow –too cautionary, and passion’s lusty red

will likely stay un-optioned in the box. Divine chance

can color life that way. Maybe I’ll close my eyes to select

a fortuitous shade. Then, if white spills from pensive

scrawl and appears on paper as nothing at all, this

will mean that some days should remain a blank page.

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