Ekphrastic Adventure: Pairing Paintings and Poems

Last week a wonderful art exhibit opened at Slayton House in Wilde Lake Village Center here in Columbia. Two local artists, April Rimpo and Elaine Weiner-Reed opened their exhibit entitled “Portraits of Life: The Art of Storytelling.”  What made the evening special was the collaboration that April and Elaine had arranged by seeking poets and musicians to write songs and poems to accompany their paintings. Along with several other local writers, I participated in the event and wrote two poems–one to go with a painting by Elaine and one to go with a painting by April. The energy of the visual art and the spoken words created a powerful atmosphere in the gallery. Here are my poems to accompany Elaine’s painting “Come What May” and April’s painting “Time At the Bus Stop.”  Enjoy! And stop by Slayton House to catch this amazing exhibit.

CItyScape
Come What May

“Come What May”

What mirage led me here
thinking I could draw strength
from the glass towers and the shimmering golden lights?

I sought anonymity to begin again
but discovered instead how lonely
a park bench could be.

I sought a fresh beginning,
an unblemished day
but crammed my head full of too many memories.

With no one to lean on
I stand taller
With no one to shield me
perhaps I’ll soar.

Immigrant family
Time at the Bus Stop by April M Rimpo created 1/4/2016

“Time At the Bus Stop”

I had a vision that if we came here
we’d find a new kind of fortune.

But who feeds guests with scraps
from cans instead of
platters heavy with fruit?

My grandson places his hand of my knee
and pleads “Where is my bed?”
“I don’t want to sleep on this hard step again.”

But steps are all I can see
one step for food, the next step
maybe someone will smile.

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