Melissa Hager’s “Mrs. Moon and the Land of Opals” after Elizabeth King

imageWoman Made’s exhibit has now left Hickory Museum of Art, but many of the images live on here at our website. Art of Poetry’s Melissa Hager is photographed reading a poem inspired by artist, Elizabeth King. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Melissa Hager
After “Mrs. Moon and the Land of Opals” by Elizabeth King

Australian aboriginal lass
among milky stones,
long separated from vast
humanity, two hundred
thousand millennia
from the matriarch who messed
her up. She surfs on the snake’s
back that brought her down;
eventide, dances with the devil
who keeps her leashed.

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Betty O’Hearn’s “Happy Flags” after Lauerman


Art of Poetry’s Betty O’Hearn rejoices for the arrival of spring in this poem inspired by the Josephine Moretz Shipley Lauerman painting, an artwork in the Woman Made exhibit at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Betty O’Hearn
After “Yellow Iris” by Josephine Moretz Shipley Lauerman

Greek God of the rainbow
Iris, you are loved.
You are the most beautiful flower,
with radiant colors of the rainbow.
But golden has power.
You burst up first in the garden
Stealing the full beauty of spring.
Odorless, remedial beekeeper,
you self seed.
Invading with green swords,
hold your flags high!

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Beth King’s “Purpling Assertion” after Denise Lisiecki

imageBeth King shares her poem with the audience at the March 18, 2017 Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Beth King
After “Aspects of Creativity” by Denise Lisiecki

Purpling Wads of Paper
Crumpled Carelessly in
Cat-like Clever Metaphors
Of Imagination; Floral; Enfolded
In Fabric Fiestas- Not Fancy or False

But Pure- – – Daffodil-Daisy Pure
The Child Mind is Pure
Before Adult’s Onslaught
Into Maturity.

I Color Myself a Child
I Use Crayons to Journal
I Use Crayons to Dream
I Use Crayons to Sign
My Name of Perfect Innocence.

I Refuse Induction into
the Snake Charm Oil-
Humbug Ruled Universe
Of Adult Maturity.

I Shall Lie on the Grass
Draw Flowers on the Clouds
Sing to the Butterflies
Hug the Trees and the Birds
And Holler-Sing to the Full Moon
With all the Red Cats of the World.

I Refuse Your Universe
Of Adulterated Adulthood
And Choose My Own

My Own Reality
Of the Free-Spirited Child
Forever and Forever

I Cast My Soul-Self Upon
The Altars of all Creativity
And Stand, No Play as a Child
Through Everlasting Eternity.

This is My Heaven.
What is Yours?

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Robert Manchester’s “Strangers II” after Maud Gatewood

imageA first for Art of Poetry, poet friends write individual poems about the same artwork as a call and response.  Read how Robert Manchester replies to the drenched pedestrian of Patricia Deaton’s poem from last week’s post.

Robert Manchester
After “Umbrellas” by Maud Gatewood

Yes, I caught
your glance.
Held just a second
too long
to be casual.
More to ask –
Don’t you see
my troubled heart
my lost love?

I would have tipped
my hat, given you
a wave,
but one hand held
my umbrella,
the other held
a box
filled with
my broken dreams.

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Patricia Deaton’s “Stranger” after Maud Gatewood


Patricia Deaton shares her poem inspired by Maud Gatewood’s painting for the Woman Made exhibit at Art of Poetry on March 18, 2017. In a neat twist, a poet friend of Patricia responded with his own poem.  It will be featured in next week’s Art of Poetry.  Woman Made will run through April 23 at Hickory Museum of Art.

Patricia Deaton
After “Umbrellas” by Maud Gatewood

If I glanced at you in a rainstorm
on a twilit evening, nylon domes intruding,
drooping hair – wet, wool smell – would you
find me worth acknowledging? Could you see

past a dour countenance, grim mouth, chilled
spirit if I relax my jaw, meet your eyes – breath
caught where my heart sits dry, unguarded?
If I glanced at you in a rainstorm with umbrellas

touching, perfect shoes ruined – starch absent
from dampened shirt – a pastry box going soft
in your grasp, you might think it safe to ask
Do I know you? And I’d shake my head no.

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Douglas McHargue’s “Dance of Your Dreams” after Mary Charles Griffin


Douglas McHargue talks about her poem with the audience inspired by the painting of Mary Charles Griffin at the March 18, 2017 Art of Poetry.  The painting is part of the “Woman Made” exhibit through April 23 at Hickory Museum of Art.  Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Douglas McHargue
After “Junior Prom” by Mary Charles Griffin

Your prom. In a dream
looks like this, punch bowl
at center, vodka flaming
from Jack’s flask
when chaperones blinked.

Colors swirl, flow
as you dance, midnight
blue, red satin on cream
skin shouldering tropical
flowers from rainforests
with all secrets, dripping
leaves, butterflies, spiders
the size of a man’s hands
that hold you now,
you and your white washed
mouth always whispering
to the cold war sky
afraid to tempt any gods
and now flying across this room,
great circle of dancers
nothing but color and light
far beyond a mushroom cloud.

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Join Art of Poetry Saturday, March 18 at Hickory Museum of Art

Art of Poetry

Join the next Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art this Saturday, March 18 beginning at 2 pm in the front entrance of the museum.  Explore current exhibits  including “Woman Made”- through poetic works inspired by artworks.  Hope to see you there!

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