Ars Poetica is in its ninth year here on the west side of Puget Sound. Poets living in Kitsap, Jefferson, and Mason (that's me) Counties submit up to three poems to a jury of local artists who choose one or more poems to interpret in their chosen medium.
When complete, the art is displayed in participating galleries, and usually culminates in author-artist events at the galleries, where the poets read their poems standing alongside the artwork inspired by their poems, and the artist speaks about his or her creation, and how the poem inspired it.
This year, of course, everything is different. The events never took place, and most of the exhibits were cancelled. Thankfully, a number of poems and the accompanying artwork are on display during the month of September at the Poulsbohemian Coffeehouse in Poulsbo, WA. In addition, local artist Bev Hanson has put together a virtual exhibit of the Poulsbohemian exhibit, features statements from both the artists and poets.
I love the watercolor that accompanies one of my poems:
Outside My Window
Outside my window
in early morning fog
eagle finds a salmon
bleached in decay
washed ashore the day before
lays claim with anchored talons
rips flesh with razored beak
until it sees me looking
out from behind glass
too close for its comfort
flaps its mighty wings
flies out of view
holding fast to the fish
I walk to the kitchen
one life feeds another
Why I chose this poem: Artist Andrea Tiffany.
Birds seem to provide my greatest source of inspiration to paint, followed closely by the local landscape of mountain- framed saltwater. Fish often come popping up to the surface of my artwork, as well. This poem contained all I needed, and though Eagles are not my favorite bird—a bit brutish, for my taste—they are spectacular creatures, and the partnership between Eagles and Salmon is a local classic.
Media: Watercolor Price: $200
What inspired me to write this poem: Poet Cathy Warner
Two-and-a-half years ago I moved to low bank fixer upper in Union on Anna’s Bay of the Hood Canal. There is always something to see out the window. At low tide, the bay is mud, oyster beds, and the Skokomish River. When the salmon run, occasionally a dead one washes ashore. This particular morning, I stumbled into the living room to find an eagle unusually close to the house feasting on a salmon. I think both of us were startled by our nearness to each other.”
Enjoy a PDF of the entire virtual exhibit here.
I began blogging about "This or Something Better" in 2011 when my husband and I were discerning what came next in our lives, which turned out to be relocating to Puget Sound from our Native California. My older posts can be found here.