Crossroads: at the junction of poetry and painting
an art show collaboration with Nan Henke
Hello, Poetry Friend
For the last two months I’ve been having way too much fun at the Crossroads.
I’m working with a local painter named Nan Henke. Our town has a lot of art galleries, and through some of the professional writing I’ve done over the years, I’ve gotten to know several artists, including Nan. She discovered Poetry for Life and approached me about doing a show together at the Fredericksburg Art Guild. She says, it’s a show “where poetry reflects the art and art reflects the poetry.”
In some cases I chose a painting of Nan’s and wrote a poem about it. In other cases she chose a poem of mine and made a painting from it. Sometimes we found an existing poem and painting that seemed to go together.
This month I’m sharing poems and paintings from our show. I’ll begin with “Still,” which was published in my first book, The Joy of Poetry. For all you non-Texans who don’t know what a bluebonnet is, Nan has a painting titled “Bluebonnets” to help you. This one in the poem is past its prime.
Still by Megan Willome, first published in The Joy of Poetry A clump of bluebonnets stands in the alley long past Memorial Day. Usually they're fried by Easter. In the spring they grow in green pastures, beside busy highways. Now they look tired, out of place, like they didn't get the notice that it's time to make room for the warm wildflowers. Tomorrow is Independence Day and they're still there barely blue. The Mexican hats, the wine cups cups, even the fire wheels have faded. Those stubborn bluebonnets hang on like my mother still thriving through cancer after cancer after cancer. – Megan Willome
If you’re in Fredericksburg, Texas, this Friday, April 7, come join us at 308 East Austin Street between 4-8 p.m. for First Friday Art Walk. The show will remain up through April 30. The wildflowers (including the bluebonnets!) are out, the afternoons and evenings are perfect for a glass of local wine on the patio, and the B&Bs are not quite full without you.
Read the poem about the bluebonnets and my mother.
Jot down what you notice, what you like, what you don’t, what questions you have, and at least one way in which the poem speaks to your soul.
Read the poem again, aloud (if you didn’t the first time). Is there anything you notice this time that you want to add to your journal?
Write your own poem about what has stirred in you … flowers, cancer, mothers, whatever. If you like, email me what you write.
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