Joyce Brown’s “How Gardens Are Left Behind” after Charles Basham And Details for December’s AOP Submissions


Have a little help from our friend! Joyce Brown had written her piece around an artwork that had to be prematurely taken down, but trusty Art of Poetry attendees are always ready to assist.  Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Joyce Brown
after “Abandoned Garden” by Charles Basham

These old abandoned gardens
whisper stories of the women
who finally gave up, were themselves
abandoned, left to grow old alone.
The neighbors put up wire fences,
harbored tall trees against the past.
So many lost days! Foxgloves unkempt,
lobelia strangled by billowing grass,
wild cherry sprouting, uncontained.

My grandmother sold her fine
formal boxwoods after Henry died.
What need of such stiff companions
when here, against the porch
her irises bloomed royal purple,
her firebush flourished beside the fig?
Shoots of spirea overflowed in white
streams between the walnut trees.
All gone now, except a smallest twig,
a scattering of red dabs, iris blades
green and barren when April comes.
Only wild and golden buttercups
shine within the folds of pasture grass.


The submission deadline is November 19, 2016 and the reading will be December 3 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
-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:
·Pat Viles Retrospective (2nd Fl. Coe Gallery; September 3 – December 4)
-Whitener and Warhol: Juxtaposed (1st Fl. Whitener Gallery; Through 7/16/17
-Different Strokes by Different Folks: Works by the Foothills Painters (1st Fl. Regal and Gifford Galleries; 10/15/16 – 2/12/17)
-Innocent and Ethereal: The Visionary World of Paul Lancaster (1st Fl. Shuford Gallery; 11/19/16 – 3/5/17) Since this exhibit won’t be up before the submission deadline, you can ask for images of Paul’s work at the second floor desk.
·Discover Folk Art (3rd Fl. Ongoing)
·Glass & Pottery from the Permanent Collection (2nd Fl. Objects Gallery; Ongoing)
Hope to see you and/or your work at the next Art of Poetry!

About missmellibrary

A children's librarian who loves to excite youth about reading!
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