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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Kelly DeMaegd’s “Years Later” after James Biggers



Art of Poetry’s Kelly DeMaegd released her first book of poetry this week, WISH AND SPIT. Rich in images from her past – and present – one can divine what has shaped this amazing poet. Congratulations, Kelly!  Above is a photo of Kelly at the March 2016 gathering reading “Years Later”, an almost prescient title for her forthcoming book. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Kelly DeMaegd
after “Untitled” by James Biggers

We talked about

the out-of-work sailors
standing at the bar
arguing about Nixon, price of gas

how we had no business there
underage, Thursday afternoon
laying down tens,
drinking pitchers of beer,
debating Mata Hari
exhibitionist or artiste
taking bets
who would be high
scorer on the Big Flipper

counting the number of times
we shoved quarters in the Rock-Ola
singing, Pack up all my cares and woes,
feeling low, here I go
while Miles blows the trumpet

taking one last look
at the jukebox
envious of its
sensuous, undulating curves
before stumbling into dusk
negative ten degrees

seeing the buck
eight points
swinging from a tree.

March 2015 AOP

Next Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art is Saturday, March 18 beginning at 2 pm. Please join us as we celebrate the WOMAN MADE exhibit.

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Brenda Smith’s “Campbell’s Scotch Broth Soup” after Andy Warhol and Reminder – Submissions Due for March AOP

imageBrenda Smith shares her poem inspired by the iconic Andy Warhol painting at Art of Poetry on December 3, 2016.  The March event at Hickory Museum of Art will begin at 2 pm on March 18, 2017. Submissions are due March 4 to be included in the series.

Brenda Smith
after “Campbell’s Scotch Broth Soup” by Andy Warhol

Andy, this oversized can of soup takes us back
to our youth, to those days we thought you cool, even groovy.
A can of soup could be art! You’re a genius.
You copy a can label with geometric precision.
A bit of history on the canvas, that eye-grabbing
descriptor—manhandler. No one chastised you
for such sexism. We just grabbed up the Scotch Broth.
What the heck is that anyway? 10 and 3/4 ounces of liquid lunch.
Condensed. Art and advertisement. Sexism and soup.
We sucked it all down without a thought.

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Katelyn Vause’s “Mama’s Recipe” after Susan Gant

imageKatelyn Vause is photographed reading her poem inspired by Susan Gant’s painting at the December 3, 2016 Art of Poetry event. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.

Katelyn Vause
after “Blue Jar with Lemon” by Susan Gant

Mama always said,
“When life gives you lemons,
you gotta make lemonade.”
I’d come home from school,
the wrongs of my classmates
mingling on my lips with tears.
I remember watching her
carefully slice the yellow fruit in two,
squeezing, the juice sliding
down her fingers before dripping
into the waiting jar.
It must’ve gotten on cuts,
seamstress and farmer’s wife she was,
but she never let on it did.
She’d pour sugar, always eyeing,
never measuring.
“The surprise makes it better,”
she’d say with a wink.
Mama always saved the water for last,
let me help her stir, smile as
I carefully turned the spoon, then kiss
the top of my head
as the sour turned sweet.

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